Dobbs: What’s to Be Gained by Staying in Afghanistan?
By Greg Dobbs
The Denver Post
I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.
President Obama has decided to slow down — actually, for a while, stop — our withdrawal from Afghanistan. Toward what end?
At the peak of our presence there, we had more than 50,000 American troops on the ground. More than 2,300 died. Several times as many came home physically or mentally maimed.
And what did it buy us? A temporary lull in the terror of the Taliban, that’s all. They didn’t disappear, they weren’t obliterated, they just went underground in some parts of the country and continued to persecute other parts and now they’re back in fairly full force. They’re assaulting remote Afghan cities and murdering citizens who in any way worked with the West, they’re threatening progressive Afghan women, and they’re reintroducing brutal governance that makes us shudder.
To be fair, our invasion did give us the temporary satisfaction of putting al-Qaeda, which was hosted by the Taliban and the central target of our attack, on the run. But what they did was run to almost a dozen different countries in the Middle East and Africa. In other words, the savages who attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001, fled from a remote safe haven in one of the most primitive parts of Asia to several safe havens in other countries with gateways closer — and thus more threatening — to the West.
By imposing a temporary halt on our withdrawal, can we turn that around? I don’t think so.