President Obama, even though the Phillies will be playing the Cardinals at the same time, is delivering a speech in prime time tonight and is expected to announce that 10,000 troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of this year, followed by another 20,000 next year.
About time. Our military presence there should have been covered by the sand and cobwebs of time long ago. After all, what’s the point anymore? The fighting in Afghanistan, unlike tonight’s Phillies game, doesn’t come with a scoreboard flashing the final score.
This is a war that can’t be won in any conventional sense in our lifetime. At best, victory would mean a stable and democratic Afghanistan. Don’t hold your breath. It would take years for that miracle to break a sweat. And if it does happen, it truly will be a miracle of loaves-and-fishes proportion. The Afghans don’t go to the Hamptons for the weekend and they don’t go to the polls.
Indeed, why do we need to stick around in Afghanistan? If we lose this war, defeat would mean that the Taliban is back in control and spawning terrorism on a grand and global scale. But we’ve gotten better at tactical counterterrorism, so the risk of a Taliban resurgence has been termed small at this point.
So why expose our men and women to senseless harm, in essence morphing them into lame ducks as well as sitting ducks as the troop withdrawal escalates?
Then again, it seems folly that we will ever be able to totally put Afghanistan in our rearview mirror. It appears, unfortunately, that U.S. interests will be yoked to the Middle East forever and a day. Or at least until Armageddon rears its ugly head and the ultimate End Game engulfs us.