Troops Kept in Afghanistan Costing Unnecessary Lives

By PAULINE PARK
On October 28, 2015

Photo Courtesy of The U.S. Army, Flickr Creative Commons

American troops are being kept in Afghanistan for the sake of other countries, rather than for the sake of their own country. I think that it would be in our country’s best interest if U.S. troops withdrew immediately from the Afghanistan War. Although I feel the U.S.’ 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was justified, it has inflicted too much pain upon our country. Our servicemen and women are getting injured and losing their lives in a distant land across the sea, far away from their homes and families.

The Afghanistan War is the second-longest war in U.S. history. The U.S. has made significant progress in the country, having driven out the Taliban and establishing a relatively strong base against the presence of Al Qaeda.

People who oppose the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan are afraid that it will do more harm than good to both the U.S. and Afghanistan. They are afraid that the Taliban will regain power and put the past efforts and lives that have been lost over the past decade to waste.

Ahmad Majidyar, senior research associate at the American Enterprise Institute, claims that an “early exit is a recipe for disaster,” according to the U.S. News & World Report.  

Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, believes that the U.S. can still succeed in the war.

However, there are many individuals who support the quick withdrawal from Afghanistan: Jeff Smith, Kraemer strategy fellow and director of the South Asia Program at the American Foreign Policy Council, poses that Afghanistan will return to a state of chaos, despite the presence of U.S. troops. According to Smith, it is impossible to forge an “optimistic assessment of our current strategy there,” as he wrote in an article in the U.S. News & World Report.

We cannot just waste time, effort and lives in a country that does not show signs that it will soon be able to stand on its own without the help of ally countries. Although invading Afghanistan back in 2001 was not a “terrible mistake,” as Donald Trump stated earlier this month, continuing to leave our troops in Afghanistan is surely one.

Those in favor of the continuation of a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan say the government could possibly collapse the second we withdraw our troops. But if you look at it from another perspective, namely, the U.S. perspective, you will see that our nation gains nothing from continued involvement. We are losing money and more importantly, lives.

ppark1@ramapo.edu

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