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Leaving Afghanistan

Sept 1 2021

A friend asked me what I thought about what's happening in Afghanistan. "Should we have gotten out?," they asked. My answer was simple..."Yes." I believe it was the right decision to get our armed forces out. This is what the last two presidents emphatically wanted to do but never quite pulled the trigger to make it a reality. The last President made an unadvised deal with the Taliban, which led to 5000 terrorist leaders being released and giving America a timeline to exit with no follow through. History teaches us; you cannot nation build with the military alone. It also leads us to the Question of whether we should be nation building in Afghanistan at all.

I know all the news channels are flooding us with a barrage of news and commentary. This event sells a lot of commercials. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are jumping on the bandwagon too. So there are many opinions. It's just a matter of switching the channel and listening to the one you agree with. But there is more to it. What about the cost? After 20 years, was the US "occupation" in Afghanistan worth it? Who truly benefited from it? It wasn't our military soldiers and I can't truly say it was the Afghanistan people.

Ask yourself; "What did Afghanistan mean to the greedy defense contractors?" Our military budget is over $700 Billion and we spend over $500 Billion on “private” military contractors. We spend more on the military than all the countries on earth. So basically the only ones truly benefiting from these unending wars and "occupations" are the defense contractors.

It was and has been time for us to remove US troops from Afghanistan, especially when the US has so many other critical problems that need to be addressed on our own shores? Could it have been done more delicately? I assume the answer is yes, but like many of us, I was not in those war rooms where those decisions were being made based on the information at hand. Nonetheless, it was time.

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