Danny Sjursen discusses the recent deal to withdraw most of the U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He begins by describing the reactions of his military friends to the idea that this deal represents “surrender” to the Taliban, which some on the right would have you believe. On the contrary, says Sjursen, most veterans, including all of his friends, support ending the war, and many say that we should do so as soon as possible. If anything, Sjursen is critical of this deal because it doesn’t go far enough, since it allows some “non-combat” troops (a notoriously fuzzy definition) to stay behind, along with CIA-backed militias and intelligence and bombing capabilities. All in all, Sjursen is skeptical that this deal really spells the end of America’s involvement in Afghanistan, and instead may be nothing more than an election stunt that could fall apart at the slightest hiccup, giving the U.S. government an excuse to stay even longer.
Discussed on the show:
- “Happy Afghanistan Surrender Day!” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “Majorities of US veterans say Iraq, Afghanistan wars weren’t worth fighting” (Pew Research Center)
- “Opinion | On Afghanistan, Trump Gets Taken” (The New York Times)
- “Distant lives come together on 9/11’s front lines” (Reuters)
- An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. army major and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.
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