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Fight in Afghanistan about America as well

Just before Thanksgiving, several members of Congress went to Afghanistan. There they talked with U.S. forces and officials as well as Afghans, including that nation’s president, Ashraf Ghani.

Making the trip were Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah; and Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio.

Many Americans seem eager for President Donald Trump to simply pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, and the sooner, the better. Capito came away with a different impression.

“It was clear to me during this trip that the areas our military is working on, in terms of counter-terrorism, are exceedingly important to helping the Afghan national forces, national police, and their government secure more of their territory,” she said. If U.S. forces fail to support the Afghan government, “they risk being overtaken by very violent terrorist groups, which in turn will endanger our homeland,” Capito explained.

Since U.S. forces ousted the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, women and girls have enjoyed freedoms they were denied under that murderous regime. If the Taliban regain power — as they are striving by violent means to do — there is little doubt they will resume their repression of women and religious minorities.

That sort of mindset by former Taliban leaders led them to shelter al-Qaida terrorists including Osama bin Laden, as that group will planning its Sept. 11, 2001, assault on America.

Trump has been handling the Taliban cautiously, reacting to some of their attacks by suspending peace talks. Now it appears negotiations have resumed. Simply giving in to the Taliban would serve neither Afghans nor Americans. Capito is right: The fight in Afghanistan is not just about that country, but also ours.

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