By Duncan Smith
American troops have been in Afghanistan nearly 20 years.
That’s about 17 or so years too long.
When George Bush invaded the southwest Asian country following the 9/11 attack, the vast majority of Americans were behind him.
The ruling Taliban government needed to be punished (killed) for allowing Osama bin Laden safe space to plan the attack.
But few Americans (except, perhaps, Bush and the political establishment) believed that American forces would still be there two decades later.
Bush said at the time the “Global War on Terror” would be multigenerational, so he obviously had plans to stay there forever.
But we don’t need to be there anymore. There is no desire to ‘win’ that war because there is no will to do what it takes — destroy the country like we destroyed Italy and Germany and Japan in World War II.
Donald Trump knew that. He campaigned on getting our troops out of the endless wars. He got most of them out but not all, and today, 2,500 still remain in Afghanistan.
Joe Biden actually wants to finally remove all troops for Afghanistan, and Trump has come out in support of it, though he thinks Biden should do it by May 1, not by Sept. 11 (because that will deter from our annual 9/11 observances).
'Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do,' Trump said in the statement. 'I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.'
Who disagrees? The political establishment, which still, unfortunately, includes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). A true Trump ally, he nevertheless expressed disagreement with the former president on Monday.
'I could not disagree more with former President Trump regarding his support for President Biden's withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan against sound military advice,' Graham tweeted. 'With all due respect to former President Trump, there is nothing 'wonderful' or 'positive' about allowing safe havens and sanctuary for terrorists to reemerge in Afghanistan or see Afghanistan be drawn back into another civil war.'
'I'm well aware our military and intelligence communities argued strenuously to both President Biden and President Trump that a small but capable residual counter-terrorism force be left in Afghanistan,' Graham continued. 'These forces act as an insurance policy to prevent the rise of ISIS and al-Qaeda, which threaten the American homeland, as well as to prevent another Afghan civil war.'
Graham called the development the 'Biden-Trump plan.'
'The intelligence regarding withdrawal is ominous for U.S. interests and no one believes the Taliban can be trusted to police al-Qaeda and ISIS as envisioned by the Biden-Trump plan,' Graham asserted. 'We will see if 'General' Biden and 'General' Trump's withdrawal strategy turns out to be sound national security policy.'
'For the sake of our nation, the people of Afghanistan, and the entire region I hope President Biden and former President Trump are proven right and our military and intelligence communities are proven wrong,' he went on. 'However, I very seriously doubt it as I have seen this movie in Iraq and I fear that over time Afghanistan will become worse.'
'It is important history judge those who make these decisions fairly but firmly,' Graham wrote.
Graham is saying that our intelligence services aren’t good enough to detect a future attack, so the only way to do that is to stay in Afghanistan in perpetuity.
That is senseless, wasteful, and patently stupid.
Let Graham don his uniform again and go stand a post in Afghanistan. He can stay there until his dying day for all we care.
Biden is right for a change (because Trump was right first): Bring our troops home from that backward shithole.
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