Nate Anderson: ‘19 years is enough’
The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for 19 years. As the country reaches this anniversary, many are thinking back on the war, the trillions of dollars spent, and thousands of lives lost since the war began.
CVA’s Executive Director Nate Anderson is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and recently reflected on both the conflict and what our next steps should be:
Yet as someone who volunteered for service, fought in Afghanistan, and watched good friends give their lives for the mission there, it’s difficult to accept that nineteen years hasn’t been enough. As President Donald Trump has signaled, American involvement in the Afghan conflict should end, our service members should come back to their families, and our country should move forward with a renewed focus on our future security and prosperity.
Anderson recounts experiencing 9/11 as a teenager, the shift in national attention from Ground Zero to the mountains of Afghanistan, and the words of President George W. Bush promising that perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks “will hear all of us soon.”
But that was 19 years ago, and we’ve long since achieved the original objectives of war in Afghanistan. Years of combat have taken a toll on our citizens, our economy, and our fighting forces, while we’ve continued down a path of futile nation building.
Our country is closer than we’ve ever been to bringing troops home from Afghanistan, and Anderson calls out the efforts by some in Washington to keep Americans on the ground in the Middle East dispute President Trump’s work to withdraw troops:
Still, there is resistance from some in Congress who seek to keep the “endless” in our endless war.
Those forever-war lawmakers who work to perpetuate this conflict do so against the wishes of the American people. Poll after poll shows that most Americans want the war in Afghanistan brought to a conclusion. The people of this nation are simply not comfortable risking the lives of American sons and daughters for a cause that Washington cannot articulate.
Nineteen years of war is enough, and Americans have grown tired of our endless wars. It’s time to honor those who’ve served in Afghanistan by committing to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and pursue a better foreign policy for our country.