Afghan pullout grand idea in theory

Ashton Lewandowski, Staff Writer

The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East has been a constant strategic failure for the past two decades. There’s no good reason for the continued occupation of Afghanistan, especially since the Taliban has essentially taken over the country even with U.S. presence

The United States needs to start to treat the Taliban like the force they are, the likely future rulers of the territory. Instead of fighting and continuing to mess with the national affairs of a country that no longer threaten U.S. sovereignty, since the United States accomplished its objective of killing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and extracting revenge upon the Taliban, the United States should focus on more troublesome countries, such as Cuba or China, and bring the troops home.

The United States military has become the Afghanistan region’s police force, enforcing a mockery of the rule of law, while putting American soldiers in danger. A total of 2,442 U.S. troops have died, and 20,666 wounded, ever since the U.S. invaded in 2001. 

What is the objective? At what point does the United States leave the region? The invasion of Afghanistan would not be universally seen as a failure if the U.S. had just left after defeating Al-Qaeda. Instead, the U.S. has drawn the conflict out almost indefinitely, into America’s longest war, with no end in sight. 

At least, that was the bleak future faced by U.S. soldiers before Trump put forth a tactical plan to withdraw, including one of the requirements being the Taliban made sure Al-Qaeda would never operate out of their turf. 

The Taliban agreed to this requirement, which supports that countries are able to interact with the group in a matter that is diplomatic, just like any other foreign group. 

This move made by President Trump was almost universally supported by peacekeeping forces. Trump did what his two predecessors, President Bush and President Obama, refused to do, despite a large majority of Americans supporting withdrawal.

Now, President Biden is continuing the withdrawal process. This withdrawal, in whatever form, should be seen as a bipartisan win, something that’s so rare in modern America. 

The United States needs to be done meddling in foreign affairs of countries that have little importance to national security, and instead turn its focus to its neighboring countries. How is the United States supposed to be the symbol of democracy when, literally 90 miles off of its coast, is an oppressive communist regime? 

The United States has been focused on the wrong target. There’s a country literally begging for U.S. intervention, waving American flags and all, and U.S. leadership has turned a blind eye to them, angering people of Cuban descent currently living in America. The Cuban people want freedom from the oppressive regime, yet America looks toward the Middle East.

The United States should realign the interests of its foreign decisions to better reflect the wishes of the American people. Instead of staring down the Taliban, the U.S. should instead focus its attention toward its own backyard, and bring the troops in Afghanistan home.