NATO has more than 13,000 troops in Afghanistan today. Earlier this month, they considered an increase in that number. The number of U.S. troops remaining nearly 16 years after the invasion of Afghanistan are estimated at 8,400. General John Nicholson, the man in control of our forces in Afghanistan has requested Trump to increase that number.
The war in Afghanistan has not only become our nation’s longest war, it has done so by a margin of six years. George W. Bush and his generals failed to learn from the mistakes made by the Russians. A war against the Taliban and other terrorist forces in the region is unwinnable. They cannot be defeated, and to believe the contrary is pure ego and a rejection of reality.
When Afghanistan was invaded in October of 2001, Bush told the American people that we would capture or kill the architect of the cowardly attacks on 9/11; that never happened. Instead, our military engaged in a war against the Taliban. Our military leaders had no understanding about how to fight a war in the desolate area of Afghanistan. (Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals on May 2, 2011.)
Our nation remains six trillion dollars in debt resulting from this long and unwinnable war. Republicans and the TEA Party constantly complain about the deficit, but have never met a war they didn’t love. They always urge increases in the budget for the Pentagon, although it wastes approximately 50 percent of its funding each year. At the same time they seek cuts in social programs which positively affect those who most need them.
If Lyin Paul Ryan had his way, he would eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and social security entirely.
Will Afghanistan be “the war that never ends?” The United States is now the most war-prone nation in the world. Trump likes to ‘play with his toys.’ His Cruise Missile strike in Syria was ineffective, but boys like their toys. Dropping the MOAB on Afghanistan was done for no other reason than offering Donny boy the opportunity to brag that he did something no one else had done.
I do not believe in isolationism, but it’s time to bring our young men and women home, and keep them here. We can no longer be the ‘world’s policeman.’ We need to increase funding for the State Department, not defund it. And we must demand the removal of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and replace him with a qualified individual who is a true and knowledgeable diplomat. Moving from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry to Tillerson is not acceptable.
I hope we leave Afghanistan in my lifetime, but I’m not ‘holding my breath.’
by James Turnage
Follow me on twitter; @jamesturnagenov