Reports surfaced recently that Trump has been privately pushing his senior military advisors to present a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and bring the troops home. The ostensible causal event is the risk to the troops of an expanding COVID-19 outbreak in the country, but there is a far more fundamental reason why this move should be encouraged: U.S. interests are best served by a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The pushback to Trump's intent was swift and predictable. Military advisors, NBC News reported, told Trump that if he were to pull troops out of Afghanistan owing to coronavirus fears, "the Pentagon would also have to pull troops out of such places as Italy," which has a higher COVID-19 death toll. Leaving aside for the moment that there may well be value in redeploying our troops out of Italy, there are a number of compelling reasons for Trump to end the Afghan war.