I have an opinion about ending the war in Afghanistan — this endless, expensive, pointless war.
- We shouldn’t have gone there in the first place. They had nothing to do with 9/11 and experts at the time said it was not a winnable war.
- We’ve been there for 20 years. At what point do you recognize that there’s never going to be a victory for the U.S. in Afghanistan? Do we set up a permanent position? Do we form a party and have them elect Americans to run the place?
- We should have gotten out 15 years ago because even then, it was obvious that we were never going to win.
We lost in Vietnam too. The difference is that in Vietnam, instead of admitting we lost, we declared a victory. THEN we moved out. Here, we are admitting defeat — and moving out.
What did everyone think was going to happen? Did they think we were going to become permanent participants in Afghan’s never-ending civil war? No one wanted it to end like this, but then again, I’m not sure anyone was thinking about an end when they decided to go pound the hell out of a country we basically didn’t like. I often wonder if our military has a grip on the concept of wars ending. They are very good at the starting them, but bad at wrapping them up and going home.
So our Republicans ask “Will any country trust us again?”
Did the Afghans ever trust us? To the best of my knowledge, it wasn’t their idea for Americans to go there in the first place. That was our idea. They had to make the best of it. I doubt any country trusts us. If I were a small, poor country, I wouldn’t trust us. I’m not sure I trust us sitting right here in New England. Sometimes other places want or need our help because we’re rich and they are poor, but trust us? I don’t think so.
The last time we held a war and got out following a victory was World War II. Since then, it has been one pointless war after another without victories and nothing much accomplished. Except a lot of death and destruction.
If we are going to start wars and embroil our young men and women in them, the least we can do is have a plan on why we are going there, what we are doing, and how we can win or, barring that, when we can formally call it “over.”
If none of these can be made understandable by normal, non-military people, maybe we should call off the war. Let’s take that money and clean the trash out of the ocean. Fix the undrinkable water in Flint and other cities. Figure out how we are going to manage the next generation of power plants.
Instead of sending our military to far away places, how about using these same dedicated people to be heroes at home? Oh, right. There are laws about that. We can’t use our military on U.S. soil. Aren’t we lucky that it’s okay to use them any and everywhere else?
I would like to refer you to Sean Munger’s brilliant post about this. He is a real historian, not hobbyist like me.