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Troop surges, tactical air strikes, and withdrawal and retreat. These are all terms Americans should be familiar with by now, especially considering the recently proposed U.S. surge in Afghanistan, which is justified as being “necessary to stabilize a deteriorating [military] situation” in the Middle East. The current administration, much like its predecessors, assures us that more of the same – a mere escalation of the status quo – will be enough to defend against the rising tide of globally active Islamist forces.

But many Americans have been impelled to ask a truly frightening question: Is it enough? The fact that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head of American military operations in Afghanistan, has warned that America is on the verge of losing the Afghan front, seems to answer in the negative.

Why, eight years following 9/11, are we losing a war effort against some of the most primitive individuals on Earth? Is it, as President Obama suggests, that we lack diplomatic sensitivity? Is it really our hubris that is causing all the problems?

Elan Journo, writer and Fellow at the Ayn Rand Center, adamantly rejects these notions. In a recent op-ed, Mr. Journo argues that “the inverted war policy governing U.S. forces on the battlefield” is the primary reason we are losing what should be a relatively easy war. A war in which “we give the enemy every advantage,” based on “the allegedly moral imperative of putting the lives and welfare of [Middle Easterners] first,” is a war we cannot win.

Further illustrating Mr. Journo’s point is his recently published book, Winning the Unwinnable War, which shows why war policies governed by altruism – an ideology of self-sacrifice – can lead only to self-destruction.

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