The issue with Afghanistan is blood and treasure...mostly blood. Many Americans have given their lives in that piece of earth. As one mother lamented about the results in Iraq after our withdrawal...”as if my son died for nothing.”
I deeply regret that this was fought wrong from the beginning. What should have been a reprisal and exit became a war and nation building of endless numbers of years with continued American blood shed.
If we don’t intend to go all in and achieve an unconditional surrender, then we should stop shedding US blood.
I believe in a nearly full withdrawal, but I want us to leave behind a base which could house up to 300,000 soldiers. It also has 100+ drones that monitor Iran and a contingent force of about 10,000 troops.
“When you’re bleeding and dying on Afghanistan’s plains/and the women come out to crave up what remains/roll over to your rifle and blow out your brains/and go to your God a soldier’’.— Kipling.
In the run up to Afghanistan I told my wife we’d never win this “war on terror” because we aren’t willing to do what would have to be done.
I’ve been saying for a while that we should have left after the punitive expedition phase and before the meals on wheels phase. Especially since we have no stomach for true nation building as we did post-WWII. That would have required we completely eradicate the opposing ideology, which of course is Islam.