Another inglorious retreat for U.S.

The lessons of Vietnam were ignored during the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, and the result gives truth to the saying that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

President Joe Biden is pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, nearly 20 years after they first went in to dismantle the Taliban government that had harbored Al Qaida, the terrorist group responsible for the 9-11 attacks on the U.S.

It’s hard to fault Biden’s decision. We have spent far too much blood and treasure in a futile attempt to stamp out an enemy that can slip away into remote areas or across borders to wait us out. We endeavored to teach Afghans how to govern themselves democratically, and to defend themselves militarily. They don’t seem to be ready. Taliban forces are re-establishing control in areas as we leave, and the troops we trained and armed are not standing against them.

As in Vietnam, the enemy refused to stand and fight so we could defeat them. As in Vietnam, we have tired of fighting a war with no set goals. We are pulling out and leaving those who cooperated with us and allied with us against the Taliban to face the prospects of their vengeful return. It will be impossible to find places for them in a country so opposed to immigration as we are now.

We hope that the lessons of this frustrating and deadly engagement in Afghanistan, along with the lessons we should have learned from Vietnam, will temper our inclination to rush in and solve the world’s problems without any thought to the consequences.


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