— Stanley A. McChrystal
Zdroj: My Share Of The Task (2013), p. 278
Kontext: As the story unfolds many things appear: extraordinary sacrifice and teamwork, often alongside an atmosphere of mistrust, uncertainty, media scrutiny, and politics. There is a temptation to seek a single hero or culprit- a person, group, or policy- that emerges as the decisive factor. This makes for better intrigue, but it's a false drama. To do so is to oversimplify the war, the players, and Afghanistan itself. Because despite their relevance as contributing factors, I found no single personality, decision, relationship, or event that determined the outcome or even dominated the direction of events. Afghanistan did that. Only Afghanistan, with her deep scars and opaque complexity, emerged as the essential reality and dominant character. On her brutal terrain, and in the minds of her people, the struggle was to be waged and decided. No outcome was preordained, but nothing would come easily. Few things of value do.