The Cost Of War
The war in Afghanistan started a little over 10 years ago under a basic premise: retaliation. Unlike the war in Iraq, the American public understood our reasoning for entering the war due to the horrific attacks on September 11th 2001. Our military’s original goals were to: 1) capture the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden; and 2) end the reign of terror brought on by the Taliban. As with all wars, the American public recognized the casualties that would occur on both sides of the battlefield, and the decision to go to war was not taken lightly. Unfortunately, as with many of America’s past conflicts, our tenure in Afghanistan has proven to be much more costly than anyone could have imagined, both monetarily and in the number of lives lost.
With the recent killing of 16 Afghani women and children civilians by an American soldier, the cost of the war has reached its tipping point. Why are we still there? We’ve achieved our main goal of killing Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban is now a shell of its former self. What is the point of us spending two BILLION dollars a day there? Why are we continuing, 10 years later, to lose American lives? Why are we still invading a sovereign country with their own government when we have plenty of problems at home?! At one point, a long time ago, the Afghani people saw us as liberators from the Taliban. But after occupying their country for 10 plus years and basically making their country more dangerous than before, we have lost the hearts and minds of their citizens. In fact, by staying in Afghanistan so long, we have only strengthened the anti American sentiment of the people there and in turn, will see more support for the Taliban.
The Obama administration has set a 2014 withdrawal date for our troops from Afghanistan. What is going to change in two years that has not happened already? The Afghani government is corrupt now, it was corrupt 10 years ago, and it will be corrupt in 2014. The Taliban had a strong hold in Afghanistan 10 years ago, it has a presence now, and it will in 2014. Why not just leave? Over 60% of the American people are fed up with this unnecessary war and want our troops home. And after the recent civilian mass murder, the Taliban has all but promised retaliation against the U.S. troops. How many more lives do we need to lose before we realize that this is a fruitless operation? How many more billions do we need to waste, during the recovery of a recession mind you, before we realize that enough is enough? President Obama has been right on many things, and I stand firm in my support for him, but the continuing war in Afghanistan is something he has gotten very very wrong.
Let me know what you think!