President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, hard on the heels of yesterday's announced draw-down in Syria. Washington was already in a tizzy about the abrupt manner of the Syria announcement, and seems to be greeting these early reports of Afghanistan in the same way. But ending these two drawn-out, expensive wars is the right thing to do. There's only so much good money, men, and materiel you can throw after bad.
Officials throughout the Trump administration are bracing themselves for the President to make an announcement about the US presence in Afghanistan, similar to his declaration Wednesday that the US will withdraw the military from Syria, informed administration sources tell CNN.
The sources cautioned that President has not yet made a final decision, but officials are concerned and convinced that he might do so, and soon.
The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, most of which are present as part of a larger NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. Any withdrawal would be complicated by the fact that the United States is part of NATO's Resolute Support mission.
Tapper's report appears to have been confirmed by The Wall Street Journal, which says the administration is thinking about a "substantial reduction of troops in Afghanistan." The reduction "could begin in several weeks," the Journal reports, citing administration officials.
Reason's Christian Britschgi pointed out last month that the U.S. has spent $900 billion on the war in Afghanistan since it began in 2001. Despite 2,400 American lives lost, the U.S. has failed to build a stable, democratic government in the country.