By Daniel N. White. Introduction by William Astore.
The current count of American service members killed in the Afghan War stands at 2245. What did they die for? For most Americans the answer remains unclear. Also unclear is why, nearly twelve years into this war, the U.S. military continues to maintain a large (and expensive) presence in Afghanistan. According to General Joseph Dunford Jr., the current commander of international security forces in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda is a “shell of its former self, with only about 75 members in Afghanistan, and most of them too busy trying to stay alive to plan attacks in the West.” Yet despite the seemingly good news, Dunford argued that American combat forces would need to stay long after the planned U.S. withdrawal in 2014 to keep “Al Qaeda on the margins.”
Do we really need to sustain a major U.S. military…
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