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Party Lines: Should the U. S. pull out of Afghanistan?
by Ben Horsley
Jun 24, 2011 | 2272 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The purpose and vision of the Afghanistan war has changed significantly since our nation declared war in October 2001.

When President Obama took office in 2009, troop levels were around 34,000. The president ordered a significant surge up to 100,000 troops to curb an increase in violence. I supported that decision hoping that it would also bring about a more conclusive end to this war and to the Taliban.

However, as late as last Friday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed that the U.S. was in talks with the Taliban and insurgents there in Afghanistan to put together a peace deal. The Taliban and Al Qaeda still have a presence in Afghanistan and help control the insurgents that still fight our troops and the newly established government.

The torch of freedom that our nation has used to light the world with is very different than the tyrannical Taliban that led that nation for many decades. There are fundamental flaws in their belief system that dictates their treatment of women and the use of religious extremism to govern. The reality is can we really trust the Taliban, in any form, to have a presence in Afghanistan after we leave? Will the efforts and lives that have been sacrificed to bring that beacon of freedom to the imperiled citizens of that nation be for naught?

We have all been apprised of the horrid treatment of women under the Taliban rule. The additional use of religious zealotry to impose mindless tyrannical abuse of their own citizens cannot be forgotten. With our presence in that nation, as well as the ongoing threat to our own nation, we have an obligation. That obligation is not only as Americans, but also as humans to protect the “unalienable rights” that have been endowed to all by our creator.

Recognizing the importance of self-rule and governance, I am unsure that Afghanistan can protect itself and in turn, the national security interests of our own nation, from the lingering threat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

While I support the notion that our own Senator Mike Lee has presented in his “sizeable and sustainable,” proposed withdrawal, I would really like to hear what our military leaders have to say.

Truly, their voice has been absent from this debate and don’t these military professionals have the professional experience to evaluate the situation on the ground? I trust their judgment to provide for the safety of our troops implicitly and far beyond what any politician may say.

This is an important and critical decision of which I trust our commander and chief to make, with the assistance of our military leadership. While I may question our undefined role in Libya, I am willing to give our president the benefit of the doubt in making the right decision on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan at this time.

If our military leadership can support what our own senator has endorsed in the size and scope of any withdrawal, then by all means, bring our troops home. I can say this unfettered, but with significant personal bias having just bid farewell to my own brother in-law who has been deployed as part of this effort.

Regardless of whatever decision is made, may God watch over and protect those who protect the freedoms of this great nation.

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