Afghanistan Quandary: To Leave or Not to Leave, That is the Question

 In Military, Politics

President Trump wants the US out of Afghanistan before the 2020 Presidential Election, according to the Military Times. The Taliban want us to leave now. If we did, the shaky government of Afghanistan would fall to the hardline extremists and they’d be right back where they were when the extremists took over. And on Monday, another two US service members were killed. It’s an Afghanistan quandary, with numerous factors.

Death

On Monday, two more US Soldiers were killed. Members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team 82nd Airborne were serving with Operation Resolute Support. Their names and other information were not released until notification of next of kin. (Military.com)

The deaths of US service members weigh heavily on the President. He’s upset at the length of the war in Afghanistan and wants it stopped. Nearly 18 years is a long time to be on war footing.

Political upheaval- the Afghanistan quandary

The Taliban refuse to negotiate directly with the Afghan government because they believe President Ashraf Ghani is an American “puppet.” Even though they have been “negotiating” with a representative of the US in Qatar, they’ve refused to expand the talks to include the Afghan government.

Though the US has painted a rosier picture of those talks, their refusal to speak directly is a harbinger of failure. And the Taliban are extremists to the hilt- they have continued to kill regardless of the status of the talks.

“End the endless wars, draw down, reduce. It won’t just be us. … we hope that overall, the need for combat forces in the region is reduced.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Acceptable Risk?

According to commanders in charge of troops, part of the retention and recruitment of military members has to do with deployments overseas. The recruit seem to want to go to faraway places, and the danger is acceptable to them.

“Every young man and woman that I run into — they want to go to the places that we’ve been going to in the past years like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and places like that, even though there’s that inherent risk all the time.” Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Troxell to Military.com

There are other more nebulous factors that must be addressed even without Afghanistan – like the need to remain vigilant and ready on all enemy fronts such as Russia and China. And the “War on Terror” will never be over as long as radical Islamists are fueled by their hate-filled ideology.

It appears that the US is trying to remove the Afghanistan quandary from the mix so that the US has some breathing room.

Featured photo: “Paratroopers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, secure a helicopter landing zone for a CH-47 Chinook on July 20, 2019, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Army photo by Maj. Thomas Cieslak”

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