Your editorial Have We Learned From Our Failures? (Nov. 18) maintains that “Over the past decade and a half, the Western world went to war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The first two were full-scale invasions; the last involved an extensive bombing campaign.” Not so: In reality, the intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 was very similar to what happened in Libya in 2011.
Before the fall of Kabul to the insurgent Afghan Northern Alliance in November, 2001, and the subsequent collapse of the Taliban regime, there were no foreign regular combat formations in Afghanistan.
The Northern Alliance did receive substantial American air support (and assistance from special forces, both U.S. and British); that, however, is no invasion.
In fact, the air support given in October and November, 2001, to the Northern Alliance is a very close analogy to NATO’s support of the anti-Gadhafi forces in Libya. Yet no one – your editorial as an example – refers to an invasion of Libya, while the myth of an invasion of Afghanistan lives on. Why?
Mark Collins, fellow, Canadian Global Affairs Institute