By Bonnie Kristian
Afghanistan is America’s longest and, since successfully completing the original mission, arguably most pointless war.
After a decade and half, this conflict has taken more than 2,300 American lives; killed unknown tens of thousands of Afghan civilians; cost trillions in borrowed money future generations will be forced to repay; and left us only with a question about what we’re now trying to accomplish.
As of this year, the Taliban holds more ground in Afghanistan than at any point since the war began in 2001. We are risking lives and paying hand over fist to walk in strategic circles.
As a new Congress convenes and White House Administration begins, ending this costly, reckless, and clearly ineffective entanglement should be high on his list of priorities.
From a perspective of practical politics, this would be much easier for Trump to accomplish than may be immediately obvious. After all, second only to the mess in Libya, Afghanistan is “President Obama’s war.” Trump surrogate Katrina Pierson was rightly criticized when she claimed Obama invaded Afghanistan, but the president-elect would do well to recall the point Pierson so poorly attempted to make: The outgoing president owned Afghanistan in a way he never embraced Iraq.
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Bonnie Kristian is a fellow at Defense Priorities. She is a weekend editor at The Week and a columnist at Rare, and her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, Politico, Relevant Magazine, The Hill, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.