After two-plus weeks driving around the eastern United States with my newly retired wife, we found none of our relatives and friends, of widely varied political viewpoints, favoring continuation of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Recent events appear to prove the main threat to our troops now comes from their purported Afghan allies. It is no comfort to say, as our political and military leaders do, that we will not be deterred from current plans "to shift increasingly away from a lead role in combat in the next year and toward intensified training and advising." Since the main threat comes from the people we are training and advising, against which there is very little realistic defense, that blather is anything but reassuring.
I'm not inclined particularly to blame the Obama administration, whose distractions in places like Libya and Syria have so far proved much less costly than the Bush administration's foray into Iraq. But if our leaders can't make a better case than this for continuing to risk the lives of our sons and daughters, after 10-and-a-half years, then I'll go with Seeger and Springsteen.