Congress Should Just Say No to Trump’s Afghanistan Surge

SANGIN, Afghanistan – American and British soldiers take a tactical pause during a combat patrol in the Sangin District area of Helmand Province April 10 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Thomas L. Knapp…….

With the US occupation of Afghanistan well into its sixteenth year and the country no closer to becoming a stable democracy than it was in late 2001, reports that this isn’t an “all options are on the table” scenario.

President Donald Trump seems to have rejected the idea of withdrawing US troops and ending the war. Instead, he intends to become the third president in a row to roll the dice on a “surge” — that is, to send in more troops (the initial estimate is anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 more in addition to the current 8,400) and hope for the best.

That idea has never worked before and it’s not going to magically start working now. If Trump can’t bring himself to put an end to America’s Afghanistan misadventure, Congress should force him to do so by either repealing its “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” or using its power of the purse to cut off funding for military operations in Afghanistan.

The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has been nothing but epic fail from the very beginning.

First, it was quite likely unnecessary. After the 9/11 attacks — carried out by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon — president George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers hand over Saudi national Osama bin Laden. The Taliban offered to do so upon the presentation of evidence, even though they were under no obligation to do so in the absence of an extradition treaty. Rather than proffer the requested evidence, Bush chose war.

Secondly, instead of invading, finding, and capturing or killing bin Laden and coming home, the troops were set to play at the game of “nation-building.” While they toppled the Taliban regime and began setting up what they hoped would become a western-style democracy instead of immediately going after bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora, he and his compatriots made their escape over the border into Pakistan. It was nearly another decade before bin Laden was hunted down and assassinated.

Finally, even after it became clear that the forces which denied the Soviets victory in a decade-long war from 1979-89 could and would do the same versus US forces, first Bush and then Barack Obama just kept doubling down, pouring American blood and treasure by the gallon into soil from which peace and democracy refused to sprout. Trump apparently wants to go down in history as Afghanistan failmaster number three.

The US occupation will never achieve its purported goals. If Afghanistan is going to change, it will be the Afghans who change it. They’re not interested in being told how to live by Russians, by Americans, or by anyone else. Can’t say as I blame them.

This column is dedicated to the memory of R. Lee Wrights (1958-2017)

Note: The original version of this column claimed that the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden over to the US on presentation of evidence implicating him in the 9/11 attacks. In fact, the Taliban’s offer was to hand bin Laden over to a “third party” country. Thanks to Jacob Hornberger for the correction.


Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.

One thought on “Congress Should Just Say No to Trump’s Afghanistan Surge

  1. Damn right the US should be out of Afghanistan!
    The whole war was a Bush administration hoax to fuel military spending, have Americans willingly surrender Constitutional rights, and hopefully gain oil access.
    The most obvious proof is the Pentagon hit of 9/11 that was proclaimed to be a Boeing 757, but was obviously a cruise missile “bunker buster”.
    Check the hole photo in the Pentagon in this image before the upper floors collapsed:

    Then check the superimposed image of a 757 and explain why there was no evidence of wings, engines, tail section, etc outside the building. Even the upstairs windows were not broken by the tail section.

    There are plenty of photos and videos of the ground outside after the hit. It is physically impossible that a 757 squeezed through that hole. (A hole that was in an asbestos contaminated renovation area. Normal asbestos remediation requirements are waived after a fire. Isn’t that convenient?)
    The reported flight trajectory also would have you believe that the plane squeezed through a maze of standing poles and signs that are closer together than the wingspan.
    The concept of a relatively lightly constructed aluminum aircraft punching a clean hole through heavy Pentagon walls is probably roughly analogous to a redneck squashing an empty beer can against his forehead and having it go right through his skull instead of collapsing the can. One can easily understand why all of the local surveillance camera video recordings of the 9/11 Pentagon hit were seized and never released.
    The Trade Towers were designed specifically to withstand the impact of a heavy freight plane, since they were built not long after one hit a high building in England. The design engineers said that it was impossible for a passenger jet crash to collapse the building. Besides, jet fuel does not burn hot enough to melt or soften structural steel. The official explanation is a hoax. An ex-girlfriend was in the stairwell with others on 9/11 when sneaking past Tower 2 security that was demanding that everyone stay in the building. They felt not only the reported airliner hit, but also additional explosions. They escaped just in time to see the controlled implosion collapse. She reported that crews worked overnight for weeks ahead of 9/11, rolling heavy loads across the floor above hers as she “burned midnight oil” on the 54th floor. The claim was that they were running new computer cables. She lost friends and was traumatized by the whole ordeal of 9/11, but is witness to the gaping holes in the official government story, which is the unlikeliest of any of the conspiracy theories. Like local government on a bigger scale, they lie to you often and deceive to manipulate. TV hypnotic suggestion serves to create a highly gullible population of cannon fodder. That time it was for Afghanistan, and continues today. Snap out of it, America!

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