Mr. Kagan states:
Winning the war in Afghanistan—creating a stable and legitimate Afghan state that can control its territory...Conservatives used to scoff at the absurdity of classifying all problems as "wars". The "war" on poverty comes to mind. Recently, we have joined the insane train and also waged wars which aren't really wars. Who is so scared of the bogeyman that they need to fight a "war" on terror?
First of all, this is an abuse of the language and it needs to stop. Why do people attempt to change the meaning of words? Simple, it's to evoke feelings and emotions related to the original definition and apply them to something wholly different. Kind of like calling it discrimation when people with pre-existing conditions are denied insurance. It's disingenous and dangerous.
Here is what war should/used to mean (taken from Merriam Webster):
- a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations
In Mr. Kagan's statement, who is the nation or state we are fighting? There isn't one. His aim is to create a better afghanistan, a noble conviction for sure, but not a war. Wars have ends. Someone wins and someone loses. Mr. Kagan has ambition without end. Some say war is hell. I agree. Let's not listen to folks like Mr. Kagan who aim at prolonging it.