General Franks may have been even worse a wartime commander than I thought. Readers of my book Fiasco know that I think he got the war in Iraq off on the wrong foot in 2003, believing the war was over when the enemy capital fell. I've just started reading Seth Jones's book on the war in Afghanistan, In the Graveyard of Empires, which someone told me is going to be the Fiasco of that war. I was struck by this observation by Jones that the invasion of Afghanistan also was botched:
Instead of defeating al Qa'ida and the Taliban in 2001, the U.S.-led Coalition merely pushed the core leadership of al Qa'ida and the Taliban out of Afghanistan and into Pakistan. This outcome was not inevitable."
More to come.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.