The Nation — Killing at least sixteen Afghan civilians as they slept. Urinating on dead Afghan bodies while laughing about it. Setting fire to their Korans. Day after day, a tired American public hears that these are just “isolated acts” and that these incidents “cast shadows” and “complicate” Washington’s plan for a gradual withdrawal of troops over the next thirty-four months. We are told that the raging anger and distrust between many Afghan and American troops is a further sign that the steady plan is at risk. But what if it’s the other way around, that the repeated acts of madness—and the record number of US military suicides—are signals of distress from an American army that knows it cannot win this war?