Defining the US mission in Afghanistan

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this war in Afghanistan.

The President went to Dover Air Force Base today to pay his respects to the thirty American service members killed when their helicopter was shot down this weekend in Afghanistan.

I think we need to ask a basic question about our mission over there.  What is it?

If it’s to fight the Taliban that leads to two other questions.

First, why are we fighting them?  It’s their country, not ours.  Why are we in their country fighting people who want to run their country?  Do we have more right to say who runs that country than people who live there?  Who says we get to decide who runs Afghanistan?  Who says it’s our country to call the shots in?  

Second question: how do we defeat the Taliban?  Presumably the day will come when we leave and they stay.  If we’re gone and they’re still there, won’t they be able to take over?  If we’re leaving in five years or ten years or twenty years, won’t they “still” be there?  Won’t they “still” be fighting?

Those two questions are really important to answer.  We just lost all those good, brave and patriotic men.  They were fighting out there on the front line, doing the tough fighting against the Taliban - fighting the insurgents - fighting on one side of an Afghan war that began long before we got there and will be going on when we leave. 

If the goal is to fight terrorists operating in the country against us, why don’t we do that?

Why are we fighting in this civil war over there?  I know that it is hard for any president, especially a Democrat, to pull out of warzone, but if the chief reason we’re staying is to avoid the criticism for leaving, then it surely it is time to leave.

I don’t know many Americans who think this war, now lasting ten years, is heading for victory if we stay there another ten years.  

The reason this war’s gone on is that we have first-rate, highly-disciplines troops in the American military.  They do what they’re told.  But that’s all the more reason why we should have a mission that makes sense and justifies the total sacrifice these patriotic Americans stand ready to make.

I have to believe that if we had a draft, which made every young person vulnerable to being sent over to Afghanistan and thrown into this fight, we’d have been out of there a long-time ago.  

There’s something wrong with a country fighting a war that most of the country has come to pay so little attention to.

Defining the US mission in Afghanistan

Updated