Growing numbers of Americans are starting to doubt whether we should have troops in Afghanistan and whether the war there is even winnable.
We are confident that not only is it winnable, but that we have no choice. We must prevail in Afghanistan.
We went to war there because the 9/11 attacks were a direct consequence of the safe haven given to al Qaeda in that country under the Taliban. We remain at war because a resurgent Taliban, still allied with al Qaeda, is trying to restore its brutal regime and re-establish that country as a terrorist safe haven.
It remains a clear, vital national interest of the United States to prevent this from happening. Yet an increasing number of commentators, including some of the very same individuals who opposed the surge in Iraq and called for withdrawal there, now declare Afghanistan essentially unwinnable. Had their view prevailed with respect to Iraq in 2006 and 2007, the consequences of our failure there would have been catastrophic.
Similarly, the ramifications of an American defeat in Afghanistan would not only be a devastating setback for our nation in what is now the central front in the global war on terror, but would inevitably further destabilize neighboring, nuclear Pakistan. Those who advocate such a course were wrong about Iraq, and they are wrong about Afghanistan.