Confused and frightened

By John Kanelis /

The pending withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan has me confused and frightened.

The frightening aspect comes with the advance of Taliban forces that are taking city after city in their march toward reasserting control over a country we thought we had “liberated” when we invaded it shortly after 9/11 … which was nearly 20 years ago.

The Taliban are set to take control of Kabul, the capital city of the embattled nation perhaps in the next few weeks.

The Taliban is about as evil and vile as any group on Earth. Thus, it frightens me in the extreme to see what might happen to Afghanistan if the Taliban retake control of the country.

My confusion stems from the fact that we went through three presidential administrations overseeing our combat role in Afghanistan. From George W. Bush, to Barack H. Obama and then to Donald J. Trump our forces were thought to be helping prepare the Afghan forces to defend their country against the Taliban. Joe Biden took office in January and declared our intention to pull out before the 20th year commemorating the 9/11 attacks that precipitated our involvement in our longest war.

Did we waste all that time, money, effort and blood by failing to train and equip the Afghan forces adequately?

To be brutally candid, I am wondering if the Biden administration truly understood the gravity of the Taliban’s military capability when it decided to end our involvement in this drawn-out fight.

I want our troops to come home. I also had hoped we could leave Afghanistan in a position to defend itself. My first wish is about to come true. The second wish makes me wonder about the wisdom of what we were doing there in the first place.