It’s hard to conjure up a worse outcome for our investment in Afghanistan than the reality that confronts us today on the fifteenth anniversary of the war. With almost 2,400 dead Americans, 20,000 wounded, and $686 billion (as of 2014) expended towards building a Sharia government in Kabul (cost is exponentially higherwhen non-combat expenditures factored in), the Taliban now control more territory than they did prior to the 2001 invasion. Over 70% of the casualties have been on Obama’s watch, yet because a Democrat is in the White House, it’s as if the war and its quagmire never happened. Nor do Republicans care to talk about it and hold Obama accountable.
Further disquieting is that fact that this 800-pound gorilla in the room has almost never come up during the course of the presidential election — either in the Republicans primary or general election. Those who decline to observe the failures of Afghanistan are already showing signs of repeating the mistakes elsewhere.