America’s longest war is coming to an end. And it is entirely thanks to the commitment of President Trump.
Multiple news outlets reported Monday afternoon that the Trump administration plans to order another 2,000 U.S. troops home from Afghanistan by January 15, before a Biden administration can arrive and keep them deployed for another four years.
Per @ABC: A US official confirms that they are expecting orders by the end of this week to reduce troop levels to 2,500 in Afghanistan and in Iraq by mid-January.
There are currently 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq.
— Derick Waller (@wallerABC7) November 16, 2020
Ending the Afghan War was one of the president’s signature promises. Trump was agitating to end the Afghan War all the way back in 2013:
Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2013
Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024-with all costs by U.S.A. MAKE AMERICA GREAT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2013
We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let's get out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2013
Now, the president is doing what Barack Obama and George W. Bush couldn’t, and what Joe Biden wouldn’t were he in power. This isn’t a Republican victory. It’s Donald Trump’s victory. Even now, Mitch McConnell is wailing that the wars must go on:
McConnell on Afghanistan: "The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism."
— Doug Andres (@DougAndres) November 16, 2020
McConnell’s words are sickening to read. At this moment, 4,500 American soldiers are still deployed in Afghanistan. They serve no purpose there. There is no pretense that such a small force can defeat the Taliban or even exert meaningful control over the vast wilderness of Afghanistan. There is no charade of transforming a primitive Islamic tribal society into a rich Western democracy. There is no conceit that we must have troops fighting there to avoid fighting an enemy here. In fact, America’s current immigration orthodoxy wants that enemy brought here by the tens of thousands.
The troops aren’t there because the public insists. Ending America’s foreign wars is overwhelmingly popular with ordinary people:
About three-quarters of U.S. adults say they support bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan in a new poll commissioned by the libertarian Charles Koch Institute obtained exclusively by The Hill.
In the poll, which surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults, 44 percent said they strongly support bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq and 30 percent said they somewhat support doing so.
For Afghanistan, 46 percent said they strongly support bringing troops home and 30 percent said they somewhat support it. [The Hill]
Ending America’s foreign wars is just as popular with veterans and the family members of current servicement:
About 57 percent of veterans surveyed said they feel the United States should be less engaged in military conflicts overseas, an increase of about 9 percent from last year. Only 7 percent said they think the country should be more involved.
In Afghanistan specifically, 73 percent of veterans surveyed support a full withdrawal of American military forces, and 69 percent of family members voiced the same opinion. In the 2019 poll, that figure was about 60 percent for each group. [Military Times]
America’s wars have no objective and the public opposes them. They continue for only one reason: Because a repugnant Washington elite refuses to let any of America’s foreign entanglements end. Keeping U.S. troops deployed enriches defense contractors and lobbyists while letting creatures like Max Boot feel important by living out the statesmanship fantasies they picked up in college.
For 19 years, this incompetent governing class has thrown thousands of lives and trillions of dollars away on idiotic wars on the other side of the planet. They claim to be protecting American interests, but the exact opposite is the truth. They have done more harm to the United States than Osama bin Laden could ever do.
And they are determined to do more. For four years, President Trump’s foreign policy has been hobbled by a diehard class of warmongers who have resisted peace every step of the way. Even now, there are still far too many Defense Department hacks who see sabotaging the president’s promises as their entire reason to live.
Thankfully, even as he fights a bruising court battle to secure another term and prepares for a possible departure from office, Trump is making sure that the Pentagon war lobby will not outlive him.
Last week, President Trump made the long-overdue move of firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Esper wanted to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but opposed using them to protect actual Americans from rioters over the summer. He was, in every way, the quintessential America-last creature of the defense establishment. But he wasn’t the only one. The President is bureaucratically fumigating a whole cabal of disloyal civilian defense leaders:
Mark Tomb, the deputy chief of staff to the undersecretary of defense for policy, was ousted from his position [Tuesday].
Tomb, who declined to comment when reached by phone, was forced into retirement as part of a wave of firings of top Defense Department officials that included James Anderson, the Pentagon’s acting policy chief; Joseph Kernan, the undersecretary for intelligence; and Esper’s former chief of staff Jennifer Stewart. [The Intercept]
Joe Biden was endorsed by Washington’s warmonger class from both parties. If he takes office, he will have an all-star team of hawks to support him.
But President Trump is making sure that, if Biden wants to fight any wars, he will have to go and start his own. Trump will not bequeath him any.
Donald Trump may not be in office three months from now. A Biden/Harris administration would inevitably reverse many of the President’s best policies. But they will never be able to take this victory away from the President: That he ended America’s longest war, and refused to start any new ones. History will record that the President delivered on his campaign promises to the very end.