There's an excellent book, Afghantsy, on the Russian's decade of direct intervention in that benighted land 1979-89 by Rodric Braithwaite, a former UK ambassador to Moscow who (though not a military expert) seriously knows his stuff. Even
the Russians - a bordering nation, prepared to commit a large number of
boots on the ground and be quite brutal themselves - couldn't achieve
anything, as Braithwaite recounts. Obviously, we couldn't either - in the 19th century or the 21st.
The book's early chapters cover two centuries of relevant history very well: history that anyone proposing to get involved should have acquainted themselves with before making any decisions at all. The uncompromising facts about this brutal land and its endlessly turbulent, factional and belligerent people make one wonder if anyone thus historically equipped, Russian or in turn American, would ever have committed their infantry to the place. Blair? Just tagging along, as ever. Which brings us back to the Americans ...
Biden's irresponsible closing contribution on this has been extraordinary - the TV clip being shown yesterday surely confirms him as utterly senile. He seems capable of dropping any ball and the world once again depends desperately upon the 'checks and balances' of the American system - much under strain during the Trump regime, and to be sorely tested now, it seems. With its more-or-less unilateral command of US foreign policy (where political 'lines of logistics' are shortest), I ask again: what other half-baked nonsense will the White House perpetrate?