By Duncan Smith

There probably wasn’t an American alive who thought, in October 2001 when the first U.S. troops were sent into Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks, that U.S. troops would still be in that country 19 years later.

Granted, those of us who were around then remember President George W. Bush telling the country that the “Global War on Terror” would be a years-long affair.

But nobody thought it would last two decades.

In fact, it shouldn’t have.

Thanks to heightened vigilance after 9/11, the threat of a terrorist attack on our country has become less and less.

Americans stand better odds of being killed by a Chinese virus than by a terrorist attack, and let’s note that the survival rate for COVID-19 is well over 99 percent.

So — why do we still have troops deployed fighting the GWOT?

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

President Trump told Americans in 2016 he wanted to bring our men and women home from the endless wars abroad.

He’s done the best he could given that he is being advised by military and national security officials who, for some reason (military-industrial complex?), just can’t seem to recommend full withdrawals from those places, as if the Taliban or some half-ass militants in Iraq really pose a major threat to our country.

As the 2020 election looms large, however, the president is doubling down on his pledge to bring our troops home.

By Christmas.

American Military News reports:

In July, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan had fallen to about 8,600 and in August, Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had both indicated plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan below 5,000 by the end of November.

The New York Times reported earlier on Wednesday that National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien had announced U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan had already fallen below 5,000 and that the U.S. planned to reduce troop levels to about 2,500 by the early part of 2021.

'When President Trump took office, there were over 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan,' O'Brien said during an event at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 'As of today, there are under 5,000, and that will go to 2,500 by early next year.'

Seems like the commander-in-chief — the one president in decades who has not started a war —  wants them home sooner.

Good. It’s way past time.

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