The Same Old Lies for the Same Old Wars
The Bipartisan Coalition for Endless War is uniting to once again sabotage President Trump's plan for a modest troop reduction in America's longest wars
President Trump has announced his intention to reduce the number of American troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq to 2500 each prior to Joe Biden assuming the presidency in January. This falls far short of Trump’s many promises to end these conflicts.
And yet, Trump’s decision naturally brought condemnation from exactly the people you’d expect: “National security” Republicans, Democrats, and media figures.
A rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan now would hurt our allies and delight the people who wish us harm. Violence affecting Afghans is still rampant. The Taliban is not abiding by the conditions of the so-called peace deal.
The consequences of a premature American exit would likely be even worse than President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, which fueled the rise of ISIS and a new round of global terrorism. It would be reminiscent of the humiliating American departure from Saigon in 1975.
After nearly two decades and multiple generations of American soldiers dying, you’d think that pulling some U.S. troops out of Afghanistan could not seriously be referred to as “rapid” or “premature” but that is the position of this group of people we can call the Bipartisan Coalition for Endless War.
According to NBC News in 2017, over 2400 U.S. troops had been killed in Afghanistan since that war began, which is not to mention the over 4500 dead Americans from Iraq and the millions of innocent civilians that have died as a result of these two wars. There is no national security interest in either of these two countries now, and there was not in 2001 or 2003.
The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan at the time of the U.S. invasion, were not responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq had even less to do with it. You can excuse people incorrectly conflating the Taliban with al-Qaeda since Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda did maintain a presence in Afghanistan, but this was not true of Iraq. Those who say that it’s necessary to continue militarily occupying these countries will claim it’s to prevent future acts of terrorism, but these countries were not responsible for the act of terrorism that prompted the United States to invade them in the first place. If the logic wasn’t true 20 years ago then it’s certainly not true now.
Troop withdrawal is inevitable as we will eventually be unable to afford a continued military presence in almost the entire Middle East, and the sooner we accept that the better off everyone will be. The longer the U.S. militarily occupies these countries the worse the consequences of leaving will be.
The consequences, however, will not be the result of leaving “prematurely,” the Coalition for Endless War never wants these wars to end at all, remember, but of invading in the first place. That war has a cost should come as a surprise to no one, but to blame those of us who want to end the war for that cost is to engage in an exercise of gross deceit. It’s the warmongers who chose to impose that cost on others to enrich themselves and their friends.
One of the predictable costs of these wars has been the increased influence of the Iranian regime, which the Coalition will argue is one of the reasons why we need a continued military presence in these countries. The logic that the policy that caused Iran’s influence to grow is also the way to combat their influence is obviously fallacious, but the purpose of all wars for these people is to create and engender new wars and new conflicts that the U.S. can get mired in for decades to come. Iran is just the next target in a long line of boogeymen that the Coalition for Endless War wants us to fight forever.
As for “national security,” continuing to prop up an unpopular, corrupt, and despotic regime not largely supported by the local populations can only serve to harm actual U.S. national security as more people blame the U.S. for their problems and turn to violence in their anger. Diplomacy and free trade are the real guarantors of national security. The warmongers point to Vietnam as an example of prematurely ending a war, but the reality is obviously the reverse. Vietnam is now a great trading partner of the United States. Ending that war, despite the harm to the egos and credibility of the Coalition for Endless War, was beneficial for everyone.
The great economist Ludwig von Mises said that “Peace and not war is the father of all things.” War can only enrich the few at the cost of the many, hence the need for the constant repetition of the same buzzwords and propaganda 20 years later from those in power to continue pushing for the wars that we never should have gotten involved in in the first place. We have let ourselves be duped by the worst sort of sociopathic conmen, those who enrich themselves by sacrificing other peoples’ lives, and made ourselves poorer and degraded our society as a result.