Trump should withdraw from Afghanistan

President Trump stated that his gut reaction, which he usually follows and is right, was to withdraw from Afghanistan.  He should have followed his gut reaction to withdraw, which is supported by facts and logic.

We have been at war in Afghanistan since October 2001, with no end in sight and no clear defensible reason why we are still there.

We initially went to war because Afghanistan gave sanctuary to al-Qaeda, which was responsible for the September 11 attack in 2001.  We easily routed the Taliban, but Osama bin Laden got away.  The rationale for the war seems to be that we cannot allow Afghanistan to be a failed state that allows terrorists to train and have a base to attack us.  We then embarked on costly nation-building.

But the terrorist attacks since September 11 have been by homegrown terrorists already in our country, using guns to kill, vans to plow into pedestrians, and homemade bombs.  This type of attack does not require much training except to steal or rent a van to strike pedestrians.  Even the September 11 terrorists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, did not need any training other than lessons in buying box-cutters and flight lessons in Florida for one terrorist.  The September 11-type attacks can be stopped by having armed security on the planes and having secure doors to protect the pilots.

The premise to secure the territory of Afghanistan is that the terrorists are training in and will come from Afghanistan.  Even if this were still applicable, we would need an overpowering force to secure the country, as we did with Germany and Japan after WWII.  We will not do this.  But this is not the history since September 11.  Terrorists have obtained information from the internet and cell phones and have flooded into Europe from Syria and Iraq as "refugees."  With the internet and cell phones to plan and coordinate attacks, the terrorists have developed an online caliphate to support terrorism.

We had over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, with Obama-imposed restrictions on rules of engagement and with Obama announcing the withdrawal timetable of the troops.  Given the incompetence of Obama, it is now too late to again send a massive troop surge, and sending 4,000 troops will only delay the eventual withdrawal.

As for Afghanistan being a failed state that offers sanctuary to terrorists, the list of failed and near failed states in the Middle East includes, but is not limited to, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, and terrorist states such as Iran.  Terrorists are welcome in all these countries.  Thanks to Hillary's decision to remove and kill Moammar Gaddafi, Libya is now a failed state and a home to terrorists.  Thanks to Obama withdrawing from Iraq without leaving a residual force, Iraq is a failed state and a home to ISIS.

Moreover, terrorists are given sanctuary in our country in the sanctuary cities and states that refuse to cooperate with ICE to hold illegals until ICE can pick them.  And Democrat-governed states have sued President Trump to block the temporary ban on immigrants from countries designated as terrorist states.  This allows terrorists who enter as illegal aliens to remain in our country for sufficient time to do damage.

We cannot invade and occupy every failed state in the Middle East that gives safe harbor to terrorists.  There are simply too many, and we do not have the manpower or the will to do it.

The attacks since September 11 have been by terrorists in our country, such as Major Hasan, the Boston Marathon attack, San Bernardino, and others.  The same pattern is in Europe with the attacks in London, Paris, Brussels, and Barcelona.  The coordination is by cell phones and the internet.  We are fighting an ideology of Islamist terrorism that is now spread on the internet by social media and cell phones.  The four thousand troops would be more useful on our southern border than in Afghanistan.

The British lost in Afghanistan.  The Russians, who had no rules of engagement except to kill all suspected enemies, lost.  Thanks to the ineptitude of Bush with nation-building, and the incompetence of Obama in restrictive rules of engagement and announcing the dates of withdrawal, we have not won.

We should bring home the troops.  Bush and Obama made the mistakes, not Trump.  He should not continue their mistakes.

We should focus on restricting immigration, enforcing existing immigration laws, building and securing the border wall, deporting all those on expired visas, and vigorously tracking and investigating suspected jihadists.

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