By Daniel DePetris
The collapse of the nearly year-long negotiations between the United States and the Taliban had only one winner: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Now, he will almost certainly go on to win reelection once the votes are tallied. The potential losers, however, are the American troops who will continue risking their lives in an unsustainable stalemate in Afghanistan.
U.S. military officials have indicated the war in Afghanistan will go on as if negotiations never happened. The Taliban have also delivered on their promise of escalation. This is one reason why only 20% of eligible Afghans went to the polls to vote for their next president, the lowest turnout in an election since the country’s post-Taliban political system was established. The country is deeply troubled: More than 4,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of this year alone.
Nonetheless, former U.S. national security officials have counseled more patience for our continued intervention, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there is very little patience left after 18 years of investment and sacrifice. To squander more lives and taxpayer dollars on a fruitless mission will only lengthen U.S. involvement in an endless war taxpayers lost interest in a long time ago. Instead of staying on course to dead end in failure, President Trump should listen to the American people and move forward with an orderly, speedy military withdrawal.
This piece was originally published by the Washington Examiner on October 3, 2019. Read more HERE.