President Donald J. Trump visits troops at Bagram Airfield on Thursday, November 28, 2019, in Afghanistan, during a surprise visit to spend Thanksgiving with troops. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
It’s time to withdraw from Afghanistan

Co-written by William Ruger.

Arguably, the most important foreign policy pledge President Trump made during the 2016 campaign was to end the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. That promise appealed to broad swaths of Democrats and Republicans, though certainly not to the leaders of either party, who generally embraced the prevailing view that the U.S. military’s departure from Afghanistan and Iraq would have calamitous consequences. Today, nearly three-fourths of the public favor ending both campaigns — including a similar proportion of veterans and military families.

Washington has been abuzz with speculation that Trump plans to make good on his 2016 vow by ordering yet another drawdown of troops. In Afghanistan, where our post-9/11 presence has now lasted for almost 20 years, more than 2,300 U.S. servicemembers have been killed and many more wounded. The campaign in just this country has already consumed about $1 trillion dollars.

Successive U.S. administrations have sought to create a democratic Afghan government that can govern and secure the country without open-ended U.S. military support. Yet that scenario is nowhere in sight, nor is there any credible evidence that it will be if we stay the course.

It is, therefore, time to bring U.S. troops home. There is little reason to wait for some more perfect moment in the future. Moving with all due haste has the added advantage of making it more difficult politically to unwind.

Read the full article in The Washington Post.

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