Washington Post opinion piece “There’s no endgame in sight in Afghanistan. But
maybe that’s okay.” by David Von Drehle addresses the on-going war in Afghanistan.
He starts by describing the new movie “12 Strong”, which is a Hollywood
depiction of the Horse Soldiers that pulled a quick victory over the ruling
Taliban. He goes on to explain that, while the movie does accurately depict
America’s victory in driving the Taliban from power, the war is far from over
as America is still unable to pacify Afghanistan. By the time President Trump came
into power, the U.S. was down to 8,500 troops and the Taliban was controlling
about one-third of Afghanistan from safe havens in the neighboring Pakistan. Von
Drehle argues that there won’t be an end to the war, not in the near future at
least. He states that American can’t pull troops out of Afghanistan because
another radical Islamist government might take root and give safety to violent
extremists. Von Drehle then concludes his article with the idea that the
absence of a victory is not always a defeat.
While the idea that the absence of
victory does not necessary mean defeat is acceptable in certain situations, I
don’t believe it can be used in regards towards Afghanistan. From the way the article
is presented, the ‘victory’ at question is the end of the war and the
withdrawal of American troops. The conclusion that the author draws at the end,
that not withdrawing from Afghanistan isn’t all too bad, just doesn’t make sense.
Every day American troops are stationed there is more taxpayer dollars going
into military to keep them there. The money could be put to better use in other
aspects of American life, such as education, immigration, or healthcare.
Additionally, the author fails to
show how President Trump intends to make peace with Afghanistan. He claims that
we, as Americans, have no choice but to leave troops there indefinitely, but
that is no way to make peace. If anything, that might only serve to generate anti-American
feelings in the cities housing American troops. That’s not to mention the families
of those men and women sitting in Afghanistan, who are waiting for their loved
ones to return home at last.
I think that we should withdraw our
troops from Afghanistan. I believe that there is no shame in withdrawing, only that
continuing to stay there is a drain on America. I understand that the risk of
future terrorist attacks will only become more real without a constant force
there, but acts of terrorism are occurring even while America keeps troops
stationed overseas. I feel that it is time that America reel back its own sense
of heroism and watch from afar to see what will happen.