Still Long Past Time To Leave Afghanistan Behind

Three U.S. military contractors in Afghanistan were killed yesterday in a possible insider attack and that got me wondering “why are there still boots on the ground over there?” After all, on Christmas Day, President Barack Obama declared mission accomplished in Afghanistan, telling the Marines at a Hawaiian base “We are safer. It’s not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again.” But depriving the likes of al-Qaeda from having safe haven in that country never required a 13 year long occupation and the expenditure of a trillion dollars, as I explain here how Afghanistan should have been handled:

“With an approach that took Afghan political dynamics into consideration, we would have known that Mullah Omar wouldn’t have had any objections to dismantling al-Qaida and that he might have even assisted us in capturing bin Laden provided he was tried in a Muslim country. Agreeing to this would have aborted the “war on terror” and spared America thousands of dead and trillions of spent dollars as we fell for al-Qaida’s bait. Luring us into Afghanistan so they could inflict a disgraceful defeat and radicalize the Muslim world was part of bin Laden’s strategy to bleed us through a thousand cuts.

Since al-Qaida’s goal is to keep us in the Middle East, beating them requires immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Muslim countries. Naysayers would shriek that this would be surrender. Nonsense. If we followed this course, the conflict would cease and no one would follow us home to commit violence. For Peter Certo informs us that Muslims “deplore al-Qaida’s use of violence against civilians, and few would desire a society informed by al-Qaida’s particular Islamic norms.” So the region would not turn into an al-Qaida paradise in our absence. Certo does note that although “many of al-Qaida’s goals, including especially an Islamic-influenced society and removal of U.S. troops from Muslim countries, poll exceptionally well across countries,” Muslims would much prefer that these issues be remedied through diplomacy with the U.S. and not terror.”

So what in the blue hell is the U.S. still doing there? Especially since, according to the White House, the Taliban are now officially not terrorists. Let’s encourage the efforts of Afghanistan’s government to arrive at a power sharing deal with the Taliban and totally withdraw our military presence before we get sucked back in somehow—the local IS chapters could definitely provide the Pentagon all the reasons it needs to dive in again—and those cuts keep adding up.