Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

We must not " just surrender to those who are turning America into a militaristic state," Hightower writes. (Photo: Kenny Holston 21/Flickr)

Operation Endless War: How Long Must US Troops Stay in Afghanistan?

Jim Hightower

 by OtherWords

Only a few months ago, President Barack Obama announced the good news that our combat role in Afghanistan — the longest war in U.S. history — would finally end by New Year’s Day.

Put away that champagne.

A flock of screeching war hawks brought heavy political pressure on Obama to reverse himself. So our troops will stay in that war-ravaged, corrupt, bankrupted, ethnically divided country for at least another year or two.

Amazingly, the hawks argued that Obama shouldn’t “rush” the timeline for training Afghan security forces to defend their own country.

Rush? Hello: IT’S BEEN 13 YEARS!

“Operation Enduring Freedom,” as the government originally dubbed this mess of a military mission, should be renamed “Operation Endless War.”

Here we go again — not merely conducting training exercises, but continuing to mire our courageous but overstretched military forces in the Afghans’ civil war, including using U.S. ground troops in combat missions against the Afghan Taliban.

How many more Americans will die or be horribly maimed in that hapless land? How many more billions of our tax dollars will be dumped into Afghanistan’s abyss? And why?

Why are we there? Why are we wasting so many lives and so much of the money we desperately need here at home?

And why are We the People not consulted on such a massive and momentous decision?

It’s reported that the Pentagon not only wants to keep troops there through 2016, but beyond. How many troops? What are they to achieve? That’s a secret.

When Obama announced last May that the United States would have no combat role in Afghanistan after this year, he said, “It’s harder to end wars than to start them.”

True, but that doesn’t mean we can just surrender to those who are turning America into a militaristic state. If Obama won’t fight them, we must. To help, go to www.peace-action.org.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the books "Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow" (2008) and "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos: A Work of Political Subversion" (1998). Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Nabisco Strike Ends After Union Members Approve New Contract

"Congratulations to these brave workers on their wins," said one labor writer. "May their determination and grit be an inspiration for workers everywhere."

Jessica Corbett ·


'I Had a Duty of Care': Doctor Praised for Violating Texas' New Abortion Ban

"I hope the law gets overturned," Dr. Alan Braid said, "and if this is what does it, that would be great."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Infuriating Disappointment': Biden DHS Ramping Up Deportations to Haiti

"It is unconscionable for the Biden administration to resume deportation flights to Haiti, despite the country's ongoing political, economic, and environmental disasters."

Jessica Corbett ·


Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe

"Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib Endorse NDP

"Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis," said party leader Jagmeet Singh. "We're doing the same here."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo