on afghanistan


Letter: Afghanistan was a bipartisan failure and requires a bipartisan solution

"Maybe former President Donald Trump shouldn’t have trusted the Taliban. Maybe current President Joe Biden shouldn’t have trusted the Afghan military," writes Edward TJ Brown of Parkers Prairie, Minn.


America has the strongest military on the planet and — in my judgement — that sometimes means taking out the bad guys and engaging in the sort of nation-building that our county committed to with the Marshall Plan.


I fully supported the war in Afghanistan, even though I did not support then-President George W. Bush. The Taliban had violated numerous human rights conventions and, more importantly, was harboring the terrorists behind the Sept. 11 attacks.


People like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS don’t need a hug. Their form of government and legal system are alien to civilized people of all faiths and to people of no faith.


Now, the Taliban once again has control of Afghanistan and America seems ready to forget about Afghanistan once again. This is a bipartisan failure.


Former President Donald Trump negotiated with the Taliban and even got one of their leaders released from prison with the goal of pulling the troops out. Current President Joe Biden basically finished what Trump started, which, after twenty years, is what most Americans seem to want.


Maybe Trump shouldn’t have trusted the Taliban. Maybe Biden shouldn’t have trusted the Afghan military.


If most voters say to themselves, “It’s time for the Afghan people to fight the Taliban on their own," then so be it. But let us acknowledge that it is a bipartisan failure and one that still can be fixed.


Fixing this mistake will require Democrats, Republicans and Independents coming together to support a long-term Afghanistan policy backed up by sufficient resources and yes, the sacrifice of our servicemen and women.


It will require eliminating groups such as the Taliban, but also dealing with a country steeped in corruption, poverty and little history in respecting universal human rights or the norms of democratic institutions.


Simply put, it will require a Marshall Plan for the 21st century.