Since entering Afghanistan twenty years ago, more than 2,300 American service members have been killed while serving our nation with more than 20,000 military personnel injured. Thousands more suffer severe mental health challenges, including and post-traumatic stress, as taxpayers have spent nearly a trillion dollars.
Our presence in Afghanistan coincides with the U.S. not suffering another 9-11 level attack on the homeland, has severely disabled al Qaeda’s movements and provided a platform to decimate its leadership and kill or capture many of its members.
Additionally, U.S. presence is a reminder to any nation or non-state actors that they should be wary of attacking us. Departing from Central Asia gives less of a target and more open space to our strategic adversaries in China and Russia. Gains in women’s rights and education might suffer a withdrawal.