America remains at war in Afghanistan. After almost 15 years it’s time to bring the last troops home.
In October 2001 George W. Bush sent U.S. forces to destroy Osama bin-Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist organization and oust the Taliban government which hosted him. Washington then shifted to nation-building.
The 9800-man American contingent was to have been cut in half this year and reduced to 1000 early next year. But last October the administration decided to slow the planned withdrawal. The total now will drop to 5500 in 2017.
Although U.S. participation in combat has formally ended, American troops remain on call. Proposals abound for rejoining the war. For instance, Gen. John F. Campbell, then-U.S. commander in Afghanistan, urged the administration to allow American troops to attack the Taliban even if it did not threaten allied forces and use air support on behalf of Afghan forces until Kabul established its own air force.
In 2012 Afghanistan became America’s longest military conflict, passing the Vietnam War. What is Washington doing there?
There’s an air of desperation about Kabul. James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, cited the “serious risk of a political breakdown” in Afghanistan.