This year, the United States began its twentieth year of war in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump has long criticized America’s longest war and spent his four years in office working to withdraw troops from the country. A February 2020 agreement with the Taliban established May 2021 as the deadline for full troop withdrawal.
Unfortunately, previous administrations mired our troops in misguided nation-building efforts. This approach has proven costly and ineffective, leaving America no safer while aiding our rivals by keeping us bogged down in Central Asia. We should make sure this failing status quo cannot continue.
CVA Senior Advisor Dan Caldwell recently made the case for Trump using his remaining days in office to bring troops home:
Leaving even a small military force in Afghanistan past the May 2021 deadline will almost certainly lead to the loss of more American lives due to the high likelihood that the Taliban will resume attacks against American forces if the U.S. fails to follow the timeline in the Doha agreement. It will also negate the hard work of diplomats and military personnel working under Trump to secure a military exit from Afghanistan that places the future of that country in the hands of Afghans.
That’s why Trump should order the military to complete a full withdrawal from Afghanistan no later than January 20, 2021. During his remaining time in office, he should closely monitor the withdrawal process to ensure it is not undermined by those within the national security establishment who favor a permanent presence in Afghanistan.
This move would have the overwhelming support of the American people. Recent polling shows that over two-thirds of the American public — including military families and veterans — support a full withdrawal from Afghanistan. A full withdrawal would also make it difficult for Biden to re-introduce a large, permanent military presence into the country. Attempting to do so would be logistically challenging and politically difficult due to the likely opposition from progressives that share the Trump movement’s wariness of our endless wars abroad.
We accomplished our original goals in Afghanistan long ago. Our time spent there now only puts more service members in danger. It’s time to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
Read the rest of Dan Caldwell’s piece in The American Conservative.