The United States has offered a democratic form of government to the Afghanistan people for nearly 11 years. We have invested the precious lives and limbs of more than 12,000 of our young men and women in uniform, and we have spent in excess of one-half trillion dollars of borrowed money from our treasury.
After 10 years we, the American people, are asking and demanding an answer to two questions: “Will we succeed?” and “Is it worth it?”
Sadly, the answer to both of these questions is, “no.”
The Afghan people have a similar mindset to the South Vietnamese 40 years ago. First, they view us as “occupiers,” not “liberators.” Second, they do not have the fire in their bellies to strive toward achieving a western form of democracy. Afghanistan’s preference was, and continues to be, a theocracy under an Islamic government.
In the past few months, Afghanistan has clearly expressed the desire for foreign military forces to leave the country. President Karzai has told us to leave his villages. The people demonstrate and riot in the streets. If we have any respect for Afghanistan as a sovereign government, we are obligated to comply with their wishes.