Was it all worth it? The conflict had left 2,400 U.S. service members dead and more than 20,000 wounded; more than 145,000 people in all, including Afghan military, police and civilians, have died, according to a 2018 report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project; America has spent $737 billion on the war. Had all this death and maiming and money been justified by the results? Few people in 2001 disputed that evicting al-Qaeda from Afghanistan was necessary. But that mission had mostly been achieved in the early days of the war.
The war has become mere BACKGROUND NOISE for Americans. It was barely mentioned during the first two Democratic presidential debates. Now, the Trump administration is considering a withdrawal of troops in exchange for a Taliban promise to block international terrorists from operating on Afghan soil, as well as assurance the group will take part in an intra-Afghan dialogue.
What has America gotten right, what had we gotten wrong — and what, in the end, were the consequences?
Col Jim Waurishuk is retired from USAF, he is a career senior intelligence and special missions officer, he served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command and has worked on the White House National Security Council. Ilana Freedman is a veteran intelligence analyst, political commentator and host. She is an author, her newest book, Hamas: The Story of Islamic Jihad on Israel’s Front Lines. Arnetta Notkin, 30 year career on Wall Street, a Producer and Commentator.