Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, the United States sent its soldiers to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. In addition to fighting al Qaeda, the troops were also supposed to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden who had been the leader of the group. Ten years in the war, some things have changed. For instance, in May, 2011 the US marines captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. Osama was a long time leader of the Taliban. As a result of Bin Laden’s death, al Qaeda scattered all over the world. Afghanistan is now struggling to fight corruption and establish a legitimate democracy (Speier par. 1). With Bin Laden dead and most of al Qaeda members out of Afghanistan, it is the desire of many Americans that the troops would be back by the end of 2014.
The government had been promising to bring the troops back, but, after a certain period of time, the promise has been forgotten. For instance, president Obama promised to bring back more than 33,000 troops from Afghanistan, but many argued that the move was risky (Duellpar7). The war has been the longest in the history of the country and having lasted more than ten years, I think it is time our troops came home. The country cannot continue spending the taxpayers’ money to finance endless war while that money could be used in development projects such as bridges and schools.
The country’s economy is struggling because of the high unemployment rates in the country. According to Speier (par.2), $ 130 billion has been spent on the war per year. This amount could have created more than 2 million work places. Additionally, the country’s debt has accumulated to $ 14 trillion. This debt needs to be reduced, and instead of cutting down on some basic spending the government ought to stop the $ 130 billion spending on a war our troops have already succeeded in. Having killed Osama and dragged most of the al Qaeda members out of Afghanistan, there is no reason to continue fighting.
Since the war began more than 1,700 service members have lost their lives in this war, among them 592 have lost their lives between 2009 and 2011. More than 12,000 US troops have been seriously injured in the war. Some are still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and brain injuries suffered in captivity. In addition, it is estimated that more than 18 war veterans are committing suicide in a day. The number of Afghans that have fallen victim of the war is unknown. I think that the government should stop the bloodshed in a war long won and bring home our troops.
Another reason why the troops should be brought home from Afghanistan is the fact that the war has taken long. The war in Afghanistan was necessary but given the time it has taken, it has become unnecessary. Given the amount spent each year on this war the country cannot afford a war that can never end. According to Conyers (par.3, 64% of Americans wants the war ended and the money being spent on it should be directed into development plans. Conyers adds that the war in Afghanistan is no longer aimed at keeping Americans safe. According to him the CIA confirmed that only less than 100 al Qaeda members are still in the country.
The main reason why the American soldiers were sent to Afghanistan was to find Osama. During the ten years of war, Osama was finally killed by about 100 Navy seals. This shows that instead of deploying 100,000 soldiers to fight the al Qaeda, smart intelligence may be effective and less costly. The more than $500 billion already spent on the war could have been saved. In this strategy, many Americans lives could be saved. To avoid the loss of any more lives in the war, the government should be strategizing on a way to bring back the troops by 2014.
Speier (par. 9) noted that the country was losing its economic position to countries like China and India. This is because the country is not investing in education, technology and innovation. Much of the country’s revenue is going to war. The country can regain its position as an economic leader if the troops were brought back home. For instance, the more than $130 billion used for the war last year could have been used in investments that could have created more employments for Americans.
The recent attack of the American soldiers by some Afghanistan locals shows that the people of Afghanistan are tired of the American troops being in their country. Ten years fighting a non-ending war, the Americans have definitely overstayed their welcome in Afghanistan. Additionally, al Qaeda are long gone, the people of Afghanistan are experiencing issues that clearly doesn’t concern the American troops. The increased violence against the American troops in the country might result in an increased casualty. Drastic measures need to be taken to ensure that this does not result in other Americans family losing its fathers, sons or daughters all in the name of making the country safe. The increased pressure to have the American troops back by the Afghan nationals shows that the country is no longer affected by issues that the Americans can solve.
In conclusion, the war in Afghanistan was long won when the troops killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. This war has taken longer than anyone expected and the number of soldiers killed and injured is very high. Keeping the troops in Afghanistan any longer would mean an increase in these numbers. In addition, the country spends more on war. As a result, the country has lost its competitiveness to other developed countries like India and China. This is because most of the country’s finances are allocated to war rather than investing in innovations that would create employment opportunities for the country’s growing population. The money spent in a year to finance the war is enough to create more than 2 million new jobs. For this reason, the government should consider bringing the troops back by the end of 2014. It is the wish of many that the government follows its recently announced plan to bring the troops home and end the decade long war that has caused Americans a lot of suffering.