Pull out of Afghanistan?

I hate to end the tax discussion. I enjoyed most of the comments (Gull-a-bills, I love it!)
But I’ve been curious lately as to whether a sea change is underway regarding support for the war in Afghanistan.
First, we know that far-left groups, led by Cindy Sheehan (who really does hate war whether it’s waged by a conservative or a liberal), are planning a series of fall protests in Washington and elsewhere. But it’s hardly surprising that far-left loonies are against war.
The interesting development is that conservatives, more and more, also seem to be urging an Afghanistan pullout. George Will has written a column, for release tomorrow, that says the war “should be called Operation Sisyphus.” He paints a dismal picture of an unwinnable conflict.
Meanwhile, a couple of recent opinion polls — this one by the Washington Post and this one by Rasmussen Reports — show that Americans either think the war is no longer winnable or expect it to get much worse.
Against all this, Obama is sending in more troops.
My feelings? They’re mixed. We’re nearly eight years out from 9/11, and apparently too many Americans are forgetting how dangerous the Taliban and a lawless state can be to our own national security.
Recent elections in Afghanistan were a disappointment, but do we really want to turn our backs on the women of Afghanistan who, without our help, will have no rights? Do we want to give strength to the lawless elements?
On the other hand, how much more American blood should we spill without seeing any real results? Afghanistan is vast, and it has no history of a central government or the rule of law.
Liberals always told George W. Bush he was fighting the wrong war. It was Afghanistan, not Iraq, where our interests were. Now, apparently they think that’s no longer true. However, I also think some on the right are trying to turn this into Obama’s war in order to get political gain.
I would (as Will does in his column) support a different strategy — one in which the United States and coalition forces monitor Afghanistan from beyond its borders, close enough to send in drones or planes for strategic strikes. But we can’t afford a total pullout, leaving the nation back to the dogs who tore it to pieces before 9/11.
What do you think?

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About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

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