It is pretty obvious at this point that unless we are willing to re-enter Afghanistan with a full-scale invasion force (spoiler: we aren’t), then the exact speed at which the remaining 10,000 U.S. troops withdraw isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the end. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the life of another single United States soldier, or another single United States taxpayer dollar, for us to continue to be involved in the dispute over which brand of Islamic hellhole Afghanistan will end up being. Given the national course that we have clearly chosen, it’s time for us to get the last of our forces out sooner, rather than later.
That is not to say that our involvement in Afghanistan (or, for that matter, Iraq) has been for nothing. On the contrary, they have taught us valuable lessons about the fight against radical Islam going forward – and while the price for those lessons has been higher than it should have been, it is probably true that our innate stubbornness as a country would not have allowed us to learn these lessons for less.
Namely, I hope that we have learned that we have abused the entire purpose of the United States military over the course of the last 14 years by asking them to essentially act as armed civil engineers for the Great Society, Middle East division. The military is highly trained and more efficient than ever at killing people and breaking things. It is absurd, however, that we asked them to basically turn Iraq and Afghanistan into from third world cesspools into first world countries while also fighting an insurgency.