We must never forget those brave men and women who served our nation in the military, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our Democracy, our freedom, our homeland. This week, we will discuss America’s Longest War (Links to an external site.), which started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, ending some 20 years later.
First, some relevant background and history…
Approximately 8,400 U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan when President Obama’s second term ended, early 2017. In April 2017, just months after President Trump took office, the U.S. Army announced a deployment of 1,500 addition troops to Afghanistan (Links to an external site.), as attacks by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and the Taliban threatened the stability of the U.S.-backed government. Throughout 2019, however, U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan were reduced, even without a peace deal with the Taliban (Links to an external site.). As of July 2020, there were still some 8.600 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan (Links to an external site.).
In July ’21, the United States transferred Bagram air base to Afghan forces (Links to an external site.), a near-final step in ending America’s Longest War. President Biden forcefully rejected criticism – including from former President George W. Bush (Links to an external site.) – that his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan has left the country spiraling toward civil war, or headed for an inevitable Taliban takeover. In late August ’21, the actual final withdrawal of U.S. troops and diplomatic personnel took place:
Now, discuss at least ONE of the following:
1). Do you agree w/ President Biden’s decision to pull all remaining troops from Afghanistan, putting an end to America’s Longest War. Or, was this decision premature and hasty? Should the troops have been removed sooner, by President Obama or Trump? Provide a detailed rationale for your response.
2). Over 20 years after the tragic events of “9/11”, are circumstances in Afghanistan, and that region of the world, still central to the ongoing fight against terrorists – and protecting the American Homeland? Or, has this battle shifted to other parts of the world?
3). Did the United States and its NATO allies accomplish its objectives in Afghanistan, making the region and the world safer while spreading Democracy? Basically, in the final analysis, was it worth the lives lost and treasure spent over the past 20 years (approximately $1-trillion)?
4). Finally, what are the major lessons learned from our 20-year involvement in Afghanistan? For example, under which specific circumstances should the U.S. deploy its military forces abroad? What is the role of the United States in spreading Democracy abroad? Should the nation send military troops into a prolonged combat operation abroad w/o a formal Declaration of War from Congress (is a Congressional Resolution authorizing force sufficient)?