Our President announced the withdrawal of about 30,000 troops from Afghanistan. This is a good thing, at least on the surface.
It is said, "Truth is the first casualty of war." This statement is undoubtedly true. If truth is the first casualty, surely war plans are the second casualty. No war has gone "according to plan." It's not called "The Fog of War" for nothing.
I am old enough to remember Vietnam. My USAF training instructor told us that Vietnam failed because "We didn't have a mission," that is, a clear purpose. A war plan must have a primary purpose.
This begs the question, "What is our purpose in Afghanistan?" The Navy SEALS accomplished the GOAL of our mission by assassinating one Osama Bin Laden (known in our household as "Bin Boy"). The purpose is still unclear.
A lady who works at WalMart in Lafayette IN has a son who endured three tours in Iraq. He now has 21 documented health problems. This man is a prime example of how the War on Terror has worn out the military.
This retired Technical Sergeant sees Afghanistan this way. What is the purpose? Why are we there? If the purpose was to capture or kill Bin Laden, we've accomplished it. Don't stop at 30,000, bring them all home.
If our purpose is "nation building," then Congress has a job to do. Rebuilding Afghanistan is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Afghanistan is a collection of feudal tribes. There is no nation to rebuild.
Congress should ask the hard question, "Is the primary mission complete?" If so, then Congress should "cut the funds" and force the President to bring our troops home. One wag puts it, "The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things." It is not the purpose of the military to "keep the world safe for democracy and fit for heroes to live in" (Woodrow Wilson).
Of course, the same thing may be said for Iraq, but that's another story.