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Time To Bail: The New Chapter in the War in Afghanistan

by Adam Luke, published
Soldiers in the war in Afghanistan wait for the sun to set on their mission.

Nearly eleven years have passed since the first boots touched Afghan soil, the loud and clear voice that chanted for an inevitable victory in the country is starting to sound hoarse and redundant. In all reality the American voice is starting to change. At first the voice was a "bell toll" of empathy and concern for a country full of oppressed citizens, who had their lives hijacked by an extremist group who may have shared the same faces but not the same hearts and souls of those who they oppressed. It was not long before then that the media jumped in promoting the war in Afghanistan,"the nation building." It was not long before teams of 18-year-olds rushed to recruiting offices, husbands and sons quit their day jobs, because Uncle Sam was calling. It seemed the next generation's war had finally arrived.

But the "mission" was not accomplished in four years, and not even in eight. It seemed that the back-to-back world war champs had found themselves stuck in a rut. Many argue the war has gone the way of the American attention span, other countries even criticize the immaturity our nation portrayed when we believed this was simply going to be another walk in the park .

The facts are 6,742 servicemen and women have lost their lives through an 11-year campaign spanning Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2008 alone, the country has lost 2,102 military personnel. However a new problem has presented itself as America tries to make a honorable shuffle towards the door and secure an exit from the middle east. "Green-on-Blue" violence has skyrocketed at a time when America and Afghanistan are trying to be diplomatic. In one corner stands a country that believes they have the infrastructure and personnel to succeed as nation. In other corner is a country that is bruised, and growing exhausted, a country that has dumped an estimated $558 billion into a mission that now shows no clear victor. The American wish for a decisive victory is simply just a wish. There will not be a Berlin in this fight, the enemy is not confined to a bunker, and as our military personnel has learned you can only watch so many caves.  The top man we wanted is now dead, and his picture no longer can be found on the FBI most wanted list. It would seem as the justification to keep going is no longer there for the American people any longer and the polls are showing it.

So the next chapter in the war in Afghanistan begins. The hope of seeing a victory has waned, and as stated, the latest polls (5/12) are showing nearly 70 percent of the country suggesting its time to get out. But the problem is not that easy, America stands four months away from the new year and already we have lost 40 military personnel to "green-on-blue" violence. A number that is nearly double of last year's green-on-blue related fatalities. At a time where the American people should feel comfortable with removing themselves from the Afghan equation, the solution we have found is ally on ally violence. At a time where American soldiers should start feeling as if combat is over, military personnel are finding a new combat field within their own green-zones. One week ago two military members where shot at a graduation ceremony for Afghan security. Now a week later a soldier is killed by an Afghan police officer who was assigned for additional support on patrol and the American people are reeling! If people thought the war was unpopular before, the American people have a social field day with allies they cannot trust.

The big question that has to be answered is where does America go as a nation from here? One argument is that America still owes it to those who they lost in 9/11 to see this campaign through, to liberate the people of Afghanistan once and for all and rid the sovereign country of those who call themselves Al-Qaeda. But a growing voice in the back of the American psyche is working itself to the center stage. A voice that presents an argument that America has carried the ball far enough; as a nation they have fought long and hard for every yard in this game and as the nation stands on 4th and goal of this campaign, that it's time for the Afghan people to carry the ball over the goal line and into victory.

The one thing that can be derived from the facts is, above all, the loss of human life has been devastating in a campaign that has surpassed a decade of death and trial. The road ahead of Afghanistan and America is not very clear, there may even be reason for concern on if these roads will stay parallel for these two nations much longer as again diplomatic ties are battered. As both nations readjust for the new battle field, the real threat is presenting itself. The enemy may is no longer restricted to their caves, they have found a way to get inside the green-zones, and they are doing it with our uniforms.

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