This September marks 16 years since the fateful day we simply call 9/11, when 19 Islamic jihadists caused the deaths of some 3,000 people in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Less than a month after that horrible day, Operation Enduring Freedom began, as the United States invaded the “land of the Pashtuns,” Afghanistan. We’re still there, and Washington cannot decide whether it’s time to leave or stay indefinitely.
We need to get out—now.
In mid-June, the New York Times reported that, at the behest of Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, President Trump was authorizing an addition of 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops to that barren wasteland, the graveyard of empire, to complement the roughly 8,500 troops who remain in-country some two and a half years after the last time the war “ended.” This was described by the media as Trump “turning Afghanistan over to his generals,” distancing himself from the decision.
Trump’s predecessor in the White House had a difficult time calling it a day in Afghanistan, so he set some arbitrary dates for drawing down troop numbers. On December 28, 2014, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force lowered...