U.S. Marines stand in formation during a transfer of authority ceremony at Shorab camp, in Helmand province, Afghanistan April 29, 2017. REUTERS/James Mackenzie
James D. Durso, The Hill: Time for the US to take a step back from Afghanistan
Otto von Bismarck said, “The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.” America should apply the same reasoning to Afghanistan.
This month we learned the U.S. Marines are back in Helmand, Afghanistan’s most violent province and the center of opium poppy production, and their mission may expand. President Trump will soon decide if he should send 8,400 more troops there for the latest chapter in America’s longest war. Should he?
I think not. We gave Afghanistan out best effort: over 2,200 dead soldiers, over 20,000 wounded, and over $700 billion for everything from ammunition to medical care for veterans. We need to face the fact that it’s an endemically violent place and may never change and another “whole of government” effort may not make any difference.
And don’t take my word for it: the Talban has rejected peace talks with the Afghan government as surrendering to the enemy and against Islam.
Read more ....
Update: America's Afghanistan Problem: It's Not Just about Sending More Troops (Michael O'Hanlon, National Interest)
WNU Editor: The U.S. should have left Afghanistan after overthrowing the Taliban in 2001-2002 .... and leave the mess to Afghan President Karzai and his allies to sort it out. But the West chose nation building .... to a country and people who have a completely different view on what nation building is. My prediction is that the U.S. mission is going to change (but only by a bit) .... put in a few extra soldiers, change the rules of engagement (if they have not already changed), and maintain the status quo while trying to build an Afghan Army that can keep the Taliban and their allies off-balance coupled with a political strategy of weaning people away from what the Taliban are promising. This is going to be a 50 year conflict .... it is time that the politicians be honest about it. Aa for the Afghan war .... it continues .... Militants kill 10 Afghan soldiers in base attack: defense officials (Reuters).