Bring ‘Em Home

A majority of Americans believe that, in the wake of 9/11, toppling the Taliban regime and hunting down al-Qaida was the right thing to do. But now the war is in its 10th year and is costing $2 billion a week, and the United States is adjusting its priorities to conform with the widely held view that if Washington is to be involved in any reconstruction effort, it ought to be at home in America, where it is urgently needed.

The United States remains mired in an economic crisis. Three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, unemployment remains high; the official rate is 9 percent, but the unofficial one is 16 percent. Growth is crawling along at less than 2 percent, and the country’s debt burden is swelling by $4.38 billion a day. Many cities are so broke that roads and bridges are in disrepair, and some areas of America already resemble a Third World country.

The war in Afghanistan has been America’s longest ever. It began in the fall of 2001, just weeks after the attacks on New York and Washington. We went to Afghanistan for the right reason; we are staying for the wrong reason.

In an internal briefing sent to senators last week by the White House in which the president states that “on the threat side we haven’t seen a terror threat emanating out of Afghanistan for the past seven or eight years” — a claim that conflicts with what President Obama has said publicly. Even General David Petraeus, former supreme commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan and now headed to the top position of the CIA, conceded as far back as May 2009 that al-Qaida is no longer operating in Afghanistan. The organization became decentralized a long time ago, with nerve centers spread around the globe. In Afghanistan, what we’re really fighting is not international terrorists, but a national resistance movement — and, in doing so, we’re creating exactly the thing we claim to be combating. For every civilian we kill, 10 more young people across the globe rise up, determined to strike back with terror.

Last week I heard both from the Hollywood crowd and the Eastern political pundits talk of how President Obama is pulling the troops out of Afghanistan and singing his praised for doing so. They neglected to mention that he is also leaving about 90,000 troops in that war torn country! I’m not totally convinced that they are even aware of that minor detail.

It’s time to bring ‘em home.

It reminds me of how President Obama is credited with bringing the American soldiers out of Iraq and ending the war in that nation. Little is mentioned of the fact that roughly 47,000 soldiers remain in that country as well, still in combat gear and still in harm’s way. It’s time to bring them home as well!

To say that we have these men and women in those countries to train the local military forces is ludicrous. If it takes Americans roughly 18-24 weeks to get trained to go fight in those countries, why is it taking 10 years to train theirs.

Enough is enough. Bring ‘em home!

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