"Forty years ago, the whimsy of Cold Warriors motivated the United States to turn its imperial gaze upon that long-battered country. The subsequent actions and decisions — from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan to the first George Bush — led directly to the attacks of September 11 and the U.S. invasion of that nation. Twenty years later, the U.S. military remains in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, generations have seen foreign armies invade, retreat, invade again, yet never ultimately prevail. The Persians, the Greeks, the Mongols and Murghals, the British, the Soviets, and finally the United States … all have come, and all have gone, except for us, lo these 20 long years.
What began — this time — with George W. Bush has passed through the hands of Barack Obama and Donald Trump to land on the desk of Joe Biden. The specific circumstances of the moment may differ, but the decision before Biden is age-old: Leave in defeat, or remain and be defeated. What do you get when you sift through ashes? You get ashes."
Americans in power cannot seem to understand what any historian would tell you: Afghanistan did not attack the US. The 9/11 attacks were not planned in Afghanistan, but in Europe. The war in Afghanistan hasn't been against terrorism since Bin Laden and co fled weeks and months after the 2001 attacks. Instead the US is fighting as an external invader against an enemy, vile as they may be, but an enemy fighting for their country. Staying there won't bring a victory. Staying there won't prevent further attacks against the US. The only reason the US stays there is pride, and the lack of a phoney 'honourable' exit strategy, like they found in Vietnam. That, and endless war is good for the military industrial complex.
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