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Mike’s Musings: Bring Our Troops Home

By Mike Wilcox, Publisher

Here’s a worthy New Year’s resolution. How about our federal government remove American troops from Afghanistan?

I’ve never understood this war, or conflict the government calls it. It began in 1998 when we began shelling the Taliban, but technically the start date was 2001, in response to the 2001 World Trade Center bombings.

Thus we have been fighting in this feudalistic country for 19 years, by far the longest war America has ever been engaged in. Frustratingly we are no closer to ridding the country of the Taliban from whence we started.

Equally frustrating, we didn’t learn from Russia’s mistakes. They fought the same battle in Afghanistan from 1979 to the late 1990’s, before finally pulling their troops and admitting defeat. Instead of taking a cue from Russia we have fought equally as long with 2400 casualties and another 20,320 brave soldiers wounded. It has cost American taxpayers over one trillion dollars

Many of us couldn’t point out Afghanistan on a map if we were given a dozen tries. Let me tell you it is one of the most, barren mountainous regions in the world. Tucked between Pakistan and Iran it is completely landlocked with no significant lakes or rivers. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and has no significant natural resources.

It is of no strategic benefit to the United States. The country is a magnet for terrorists. Al Queda and Osama Bin Laden made it home for several years. It is also home to the Taliban, one of the most barbaric Islamist groups ever to set foot on Earth. It is the Taliban’s wish to convert Afghanistan to become the world’s most fundamentalist Islam state.

There are a variety of reasons why the Soviets, and now the Americans have failed in Afghanistan. One of the most prevalent however is that many Afghans are perfectly happy with the Taliban. The Taliban provide food, money and protection for those that grow opium and hashish.

Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world’s opium and is also the world’s leading producer of hashish. The Taliban finance their operations by producing and selling opium. Despite war that hasn’t changed and is unlikely to short of eradicating the barbaric Islamic group.

Unfortunately our war has been fought on the Taliban’s terms. Our forces haven’t been allowed to use the sophisticated weaponry at our disposal, and Afghanistan has become nothing more than a second Viet Nam. We eventually pulled out of Saigon and it makes perfect sense now to pull out of Kabul and Kandahar.

The billions of dollars spent each year in Afghanistan could better be utilized at home. We have to stop being the world’s police force, especially in countries like Afghanistan, where we are only throwing good money after bad- and it’s your money.

I know the warmongers in D.C. love to go to war. It loosens the purse strings and makes all kinds of private agencies and people very rich. But this war in Afghanistan is insane. Stop it now and bring our troops home. 911 was 19 years ago. We accomplished our main goal- killing Bin Laden. Why are we still there fighting in that Godforsaken country?