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Since 2001, US troops have been stationed in Afghanistan for approximately 15 years. They were deployed with congressional authorization with the primary goal of wiping out Al-Qaeda militants suspected to have large bases in Afghanistan. The other major goal was to find Osama bin Laden, who was the leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization at the time. Osama is thought to have coordinated the numerous terrorist operations that terrorized Americans. The World Trade Center (WTC) was leveled to the ground as a result of direct strikes from intercepted Al-Qaeda aircraft. The attack caught the United States Security Department unprepared, and there were not measure put in place to thwart the attacks. Nearly 3000 people perished in the Attack (Davis, 2012). The attack was reason enough to authorize the U.S. troops to invade Afghanistan and search for the individual who had planned an attack that killed innocent people. American voted for the move to deploy American troops on the mission. After approximately ten years, the U.S. forces succeeded in their mission by killing Osama in his hideout. Besides, the troops have so far killed many Al-Qaeda terrorist leaders who were based in Afghanistan. Other Al-Qaeda leaders have been hunted down in different parts of the world, and the network has become weak although they are dispersed around the globe. After achieving their objectives, the U.S. troops were expected to leave Afghanistan, but that has not happened to date. There have been reactions from various sectors about the presence of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. There are numerous reasons to justify the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and the U.S. government should be considerate on the matter.
Key words: Afghanistan, troops, withdrawal.
U.S. Must Withdraw Troops from Afghanistan
There are valid reasons to prove that the United States (U.S.) government should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Besides, Americans have expressed their wish to the government over the idea of withdrawing United States (U.S.) troops from Afghanistan. After a careful analysis of the mission, the primary objectives that made U.S. troops move to Afghanistan have been achieved, and therefore there is not point of letting the troops stay. Other agendas that have been devised while the U.S. troops are in Afghanistan were not part of the original plan. The U.S. military mission in Afghanistan need be terminated once and for all to put an end to the disturbing debate about the controversial presence of the troops in the country. It is the work of the U.S. government to evaluate the presence of their troops in Afghanistan and the impact of the presence of troops in the country. There are more important issues that the U.S. government should focus on rather than spending so much resources on a mission that ended six years ago. If there are no convincing reasons to allow the troops remain in Afghanistan, the U.S. government must initiate the exit of their troops immediately. The solid reasons as to why U.S. troops should withdraw from Afghanistan include the cost of the war, dwelling on an accomplished mission, majority Americans and Afghans want out, extending the military mission only prolongs the conflict, and withdrawal will weaken the Taliban forces.
The cost of managing the U.S. troops on Afghanistan soil is becoming a burden. The economic debt of America has reached $14 trillion, and yet the troops are still in Afghanistan (Malokofsky, 2012). All the money to fund all the operations carried out by the U.S. troops while on their mission in Afghanistan comes from the treasury. The treasury is funded by the taxpayers’ money, and therefore it is the American funding the war. The inflated cost of maintaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan comes at the expense of the best living Americans should enjoy. It is estimated that since the launching of the mission and subsequent deployment of U.S. troops to Afghanistan, the resources that have been used exclusively for the mission have exceeded $454 billion (Malokofsky, 2012). This cost is too high for Americans to bear. If the money could have been dedicated to the national development, it would be enough to fund mega projects that would be beneficial to the U.S. economy. Projects that can build the economy and fund technological research. Despite the high spending on troops deployed to Afghanistan, the unemployment rate in the U.S. remains high. The unemployment is an indication that the U.S. economy is struggling to keep up with developments that should provide meaningful employment to jobless Americans. If the money that has been spent on the Afghanistan mission were to be used to create employment, 2 million jobs could be created in the United States. It is estimated that the United States spends $130 billion annually to fund wars around the globe. It is expensive to support the troops that have been deployed to mission outside the American soil. The Americans are feeling the economic burden of supporting the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. government should focus on withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan and utilize the approximate $100 billion spent annually on the war to initiate projects that will contribute to commercial growth (Malokofsky, 2012). The important point to notice is that national development is much better for the economy and economic development will reduce the national debt of the U.S. Proper investment on lucrative economic projects will guarantee the improvement of the quality of life for the Americans and support for a future generation.
The Afghanistan mission carried out by the competent U.S. troops is already accomplished. It should be remembered that the key motives for the campaign to send troops to the Afghanistan were to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and weaken the Al-Qaeda terrorist network. These were the main reasons that saw the motion get the approval of the Congress and other key stakeholders in the United States. It took the time to have track and locate Osama bin Laden who remained in hiding since the U.S. declared war on him. He was ambushed and killed marking a major turning point in the war on terror. By eliminating the leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, it was justice for the people who perished in the September 11 attacks (Davis, 2012). By the time Osama bin Laden was eliminated, the Al-Qaeda terrorist network has suffered major losses and had become weak. Most leaders of the terrorist group were killed, and others went into hiding. Al-Qaeda became a weak group, and its members were dispersed into different parts of the world although they have retained a low profile to prevent arrest or being killed on terrorism charges. It is estimated that Al-Qaeda has about 100 members who have remained in Afghanistan (Hastings, 2012). There is no point of deploying thousands of U.S. troops to fight a terrorist organization which seems non-existent owing to the small numbers. Withdrawing the U.S. troops does not mean that the Al-Qaeda will unleash terror on American soil again. Many of their ways of attack have been discovered, and America is more than prepared for a similar attack by terrorist groups. There is no need to let fear of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group lead to the expensive mission of supporting the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. government should utilize the resources used in support of its troops on the mission to Afghanistan, to develop more robust measures of countering terrorism. Utilizing quality intelligence and developing new weaponry can be more beneficial than letting the troops prolong their stay in Afghanistan (Davis, 2012). It is high time the U.S. government revisit the reason that prompted the deployment of its troops to the mission in Afghanistan. Careful consideration of the situation will reveal that the mission of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan has been accomplished. It is high time to withdraw the U.S. troops and focus on more important issues affecting the United States government, perhaps the economic and scientific advancements.
It is the wish of Americans that all United States troops in Afghanistan be withdrawn immediately. There is no justification as to why they should continue operating in Afghanistan for all those many years long after their mission was completed. Americans are tired of hearing that the U.S. troops are still on their mission in Afghanistan and they continue to die for the country. Americans think that all the U.S. troops should return home to serve their military purpose from their home grounds. Americans are tired of hearing that there has been an extension of operations in Afghanistan. These kind of news on postponing termination of the mission in Afghanistan began in the year 2013 when the troops were expected to return home. The U.S. soldiers have families and relatives and the news that some of them have died while on the mission to Afghanistan is really crushing the spirits of the Americans. It is estimated that more than 1570 U.S. soldiers have died from an enemy fire in Afghanistan. Americans have said that there have been enough deaths resulting from the U.S. since the launching of the mission in Afghanistan (Bumiller & Kopicki, 2012). The presence of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan is making American unsafe by exposing them to attacks by terrorist groups. Al-Qaeda does not operate alone as a terrorist group but partners with other insurgents to unleash terror on their targets. Therefore, Americans are not safe since an attack may fail to come from the Al-Qaeda terrorist group but originate from another terrorist group affiliated to Al-Qaeda. The safety of the United States citizens is at stake especially when the U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan (Nordenman, 2013). Apart from the frontline soldiers fighting the war, the support staff has suffered fatalities while in Afghanistan, and now that the mission has been completed, Americans would prefer their troops come back home. The people of Afghanistan are irritated by the continued presence of the U.S. troops in their country and have always wanted the withdrawal of the troops to be carried out as soon as possible. The Afghans are eager to participate in the building of their nation and be governed by their fellow countrymen. The presence of the U.S. troops has interfered with the social life of the people of Afghanistan due to the continued surveillance by the military forces. Other Afghans have developed a negative perspective of the presence of the U.S. troops in their country, with few of them getting involved in a suicide bombing (Bumiller & Kopicki, 2012). The U.S. government should consider the cry its citizens and that of the people of Afghanistan, and reconsider the idea of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan. Safety of the Americans should be of paramount importance, and therefore withdrawal of the U.S. troops will make America safer.
Extending the Afghanistan mission only prolongs the conflict. There has been efforts by the U.S. military administration to try new military strategies and facilitate them by increasing the number of additional troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. government should understand increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan will increase the suffering of Afghans. The conflict between the Afghans and the United States military personnel increases as more troops are deployed to Afghanistan. The military concepts and strategies can be tried from other areas other than Afghanistan. The presence of more U.S. troops in Afghanistan disrupts normal operations, and this retards economic development in the country. The U.S. should consider giving Afghanistan the room to organize themselves, run their government, and find a future for their nation. The true social and economic development can only happen when military forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan (Nordenman, 2013). The U.S. government should consider minimizing the conflict with people of Afghanistan by withdrawing its troops from the nation.
Withdrawing the U.S. troops from Afghanistan will facilitate peaceful co-existence amongst the Afghans. The Afghanistan national development will allow stabilization of their government and provide an improvement of the lives of the local people. With a stable government in place and a peaceful co-existence of people of Afghanistan, the Taliban will weaken since they cannot thrive in a peaceful nation. The Taliban thrive war-torn nations and areas where they can pop in to commit atrocities and steal resources to fund their organization. It is a win-win situation when the U.S. government withdraws its troops to focus on national development and for Afghanistan to begin the phase of nation-building (McCrisken, 2012). It is the appropriate time the U.S. government implement the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan for the benefit of both nations.
In conclusion, the continued presence of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan has created more problems than the accrued benefits. Upon completion of the mission, there is not point of having U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The cost of retaining the U.S. forces on the mission has remained pretty high. The Americans are tired of losing their loved ones in the military force deployed for the mission, and the burden of paying for the war through taxes is an overwhelming economic burden. The people of Afghanistan need room to develop their nation and resume their normal social life. Besides, there no need for the U.S. government to escalate the conflict with Afghans through the deployment of more troops for the mission. There is a need for the U.S. government to focus on developing America instead of spending huge resources on the military mission in Afghanistan.
Bumiller, E., & Kopicki, A. (2012). Support in US for Afghan war drops sharply, poll finds. The New York Times, 26.
Davis, D. L. (2012). TRUTH, LIES AND AFGHANISTAN-How military leaders have let us down. Armed Forces Journal, 18.
Hastings, M. (2012). The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan. Penguin.
Malokofsky, N. C. (2012). Blood and treasure: the US debt and its implications for national defense and security (Doctoral dissertation, Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School).
McCrisken, T. (2012). Justifying sacrifice: Barack Obama and the selling and ending of the war in Afghanistan. International affairs, 88(5), 993-1007.
Nordenman, M. (2013). The End of the War on Terror and the Future of US Counterterrorism. Mediterranean Quarterly, 24(3), 6-19.
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