I’m assuming our new president is busy trying to figure out a way to get out of the war in Iraq, just as he promised during his campaign, but don’t forget that we’re actually in the middle of two wars. I’m unclear on what’s going to happen with the apparently endless war in Afghanistan.
This Wikipedia article counts 996 coalition deaths so far since the U.S. invaded in 2001 in the wake of 9/11 and got rid of the Taliban regime that was supporting Osama bin Laden. That includes 574 U.S. deaths.
We’re still there. What’s next?
If you look at the official White House Web site, you’ll see 24 different issues listed on “The Agenda” at the bottom of the page. Afghanistan doesn’t make the cut as an issue important enough to be listed. I clicked “Additional Issues,” but nope, Afghanistan isn’t on that page, either.
There is some discussion on a foreign policy page: “Obama and Biden will refocus American resources on the greatest threat to our security — the resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They will increase our troop levels in Afghanistan, press our allies in NATO to do the same, and dedicate more resources to revitalize Afghanistan’s economic development. Obama and Biden will demand the Afghan government do more, including cracking down on corruption and the illicit opium trade.”
This seems to represent a bipartisan consensus that Afghanistan is a “good” war, or at least a necessary one. Here’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s position, supporting a “renewed commitment” there as we bring troops home from Iraq.
A few leftists and libertarians are questioning how long we should stay. Here’s an article from The Nation, discussing a Thursday press conference at the Pentagon that discussed Afghanistan, and a posting from a libertarian blog.