The United States’ mission and level of involvement in Afghanistan today are nothing like they were 20 years ago.
President George W. Bush was right back then to go after al-Qaeda and its Taliban helpers after Osama Bin Laden’s murderous attacks on America. The justification was certainly better and more sensible than Bush’s Iraq invasion.
Circumstances have changed much since then. President Joe Biden (and Donald Trump before him) are wrong to frame a withdrawal as an end to a war. Similarly, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is wrong to say we should remain in order to protect women’s rights.
The U.S. now has a small force in Afghanistan that gives us ears on the ground in an important part of the world. For the moment, it also helps keep in check the Taliban’s brutal and primitive ways in Afghanistan.
The Taliban aren’t likely to give up and no doubt Biden’s announcement has encouraged them further. We should not get caught up in any new escalation of troops and treasure, but a complete pullout is a mistake we will regret.