Senator John McCain is changing positions on the war in Afghanistan, and is now open to the idea of pulling all troops out of the region.
Up to this point, McCain has opposed pulling all remaining troops out in 2014, but he says the ongoing green on blue attacks have convinced him that leaving early should be an option.
Here’s the problem: What will Afghanistan become if we simply up and leave? Might it not turn into what we’ve seen in Iraq since Obama quickly ended that “dumb war”? Not only have Iraq and Iran’s ties become stronger, but Iraq is now a willing channel through which Iran can move weapons.
Moreover, in the face of the attacks in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, and the anti-America demonstrations in many other countries and cities, pulling out will look like little more than surrender. It seems we have fought too hard, paid too great a price in blood to this point, to now turn and surrender the way the Soviets did in the late ’80s. (Ironically, the Soviets also referred to it as withdrawal rather than a surrender.)
Please don’t miss my point. I am not saying we should leave our troops there indefinitely regardless of the outcome or cost. Rather, I’m saying we need to change our losing strategy to a winning one, secure victory and then bring our forces home. The Pentagon actually took steps toward this earlier in the week when they suspended U.S. training of Afghan forces.
Our forces should be there to find and kill the terrorist enemy — period. And they should be allowed to do so relentlessly.
I wish McCain would fight for these kinds of changes right now, instead of thinking about giving up the fight altogether.