01/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tactics Used In Afghanistan Illustrate U.S. Failed To Learn From Iraq

Afghanistan is larger, less hospitable, more populous and proportionally more expensive and deadly for U.S. troops. That's what makes the United States' attempt to use our favorite foreign policy strategy--counterinsurgency--so dangerous in Afghanistan with far, far fewer troops than we have in Iraq, even considering an escalation. We did it poorly in Iraq and were "saved," in terms of U.S. domestic debate, by ethnic cleansing that caused a precipitous drop in violence (which tends to happen when everyone is dead). But that hasn't stopped the U.S. military from claiming that an escalation in Afghanistan would be an application of "lessons learned in Iraq" to Afghanistan.

But an examination of the tactics used in Afghanistan flatly disproves any claims by the U.S. to have learned from mistakes in Iraq.

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