Afghanistan is not about bin Laden.
It is about denying radical Islam a base; and, above all, denying it a huge victorya victory which would be used by Islamists to proclaim that Allah is on their sideand from this, going on to renew attacks and wars all over the world.
Remember well that in Pakistan are nuclear weapons which are in proximity for radical Islamists to seize. And they will seizeand distributethese WMD’s if they are not defeated in adjacent Afghanistan before turning full attention and strength on Pakistan.
“It is about denying radical Islam a base;”
Really? Explain the US support of Kosovo, then? That established a base for Al Qaeda in Europe. We aren’t denying radical Islam a base by supporting the Palestinians and Saudis either. You see, there is no “radical Islam” as somehow a separate thing apart from Islam. The entire religion is “radical”. Which is why it is a massive mistake to allow the constitution of Afghanistan to say what it does.
The idea of retreating or leaving makes my blood boil. I could convincingly make the argument that this is merely a continuation of a 1300 year old war, that we are the first that are capable of finishing once and for all, and it is needed. Think overwhelming victory, deportation, containment in a limited geographical area, and no fly zones. (I can't go as far as genocide). The problem is we (the West, not conservatives) do not have the will to do what is required. It will prove our undoing.