This war has been raging for 18 years……and there is no end in sight. Out troops will continue to have multiple deployments and we continue to throw money at a hopeless cause.
Plus I listen to the major Dem candidates when asked about Afghanistan…..most have a common stand…they do not want to leave our troops in Afghanistan but they would remove them in a responsible way…….sounds like the last two presidents……what it means is they will stay in Afghanistan until the weapons industry says we can leave.
I have been asking for years just what would it take to declare victory and bring our weary troops home for a much deserved rest?
It appears that the only strategy we have is to wait the Taleban out…….
The Thirty Years War? The Hundred Years War? The Forever War? More than 17 years after the United States invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban regime, the United States has failed to crush the resulting Taliban insurgency and cannot withdraw without allowing them to return to power. Political frustration is building. The United States is questioning an ongoing presence. United States Senator Rand Paul recently said, “[W]e’re in an impossible situation. I see no hope for it.” Among the many depressing aspects of the situation is the $13 billion being spent each year in maintaining approximately 16,000 American service members in Afghanistan. The lower estimate for maintaining one service member in Afghanistan is $500,000 per year. More realistic estimates put the number at $1 million per year. (In 2018, to maintain the current force of 16,000, the United States spent $13 billion on U.S. forces and $5 billion on Afghan forces. This provides a cost of approximately $812,000 per U.S. service member per year). The 175,000 strong Afghan National Army (ANA) costs about $5 billion per year or $28,000 per member.
Presently, the United States and NATO maintain discrete military units in Afghanistan. These units operate against the Taliban and train ANA troops. Each year, significant numbers of ANA troops desert. A bigger problem is tens of thousands of ANA “ghost soldiers.” According to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, these “soldiers” are just names on the ANA’s rolls enabling corrupt high-ranking Afghanis to steal their salaries. The present system of giving money to the Afghan government is not creating an ANA that can ever achieve victory.
Taliban negotiator spokesman Mohammed Sohail Shaheen, currently in Moscow from the recent talks between Taliban and Afghan officials, reported that he expects, during the next round of talks with the US, the Americans will announce a specific date for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
The US and Taliban have been known to be advancing toward a deal for months, centered on the US withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Taliban promising to keep ISIS and al-Qaeda out of the country in return.
Shaheen said that if the US does set a date, it will create a very real possibility of settling the war in Afghanistan, now ongoing for some 18 years. President Trump has talked up the merits of such a deal, though some US officials are said to oppose any deal that doesn’t leave a remnant US force in Afghanistan.(antiwar.com)