Sen. Rand Paul: Bring home our troops and, yes, throw a parade

Senator Paul says hold a parade after we’ve brought home the 14,000 troops serving in the US’s longest, and certainly one of its most senseless, wars—Afghanistan. From Rand Paul at foxnews.com:

A military parade in the nation’s capital? The last military parade in Washington was in 1991, after our victory in the first Iraq War.

Though the martial image of high-stepping soldiers is not one I tend to associate with our nation’s Founders’ distrust of a standing Army, I’m not against a victory celebration. So I propose we declare victory in Afghanistan, bring home our 14,000 troops and hold a victory parade.

We defeated the enemy in Afghanistan. We killed or captured the terrorists who planned, plotted, or aided in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We killed the ringleader, Usama bin Laden. We disrupted the terrorists’ camps where they plotted and trained. We dislodged the Taliban government that aided and abetted bin Laden.

The only reason victory is elusive in Afghanistan is that presidents continue to have an impossible definition of victory. If victory is creating a nation where no real nation has ever existed, then no victory will ever occur.

If victory requires the disparate tribes and regional factions of Afghanistan to have more allegiance to a regime in Kabul than to their local tribal leaders, then victory will never come.

We spend about $50 billion a year in Afghanistan. When quizzed in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently, undersecretaries of Defense and State could not answer the most rudimentary of questions concerning the war.

How many Taliban fighters do we face? Blank faces for an answer. What percentage of the Taliban are unrepentant terrorists unwilling to negotiate? Blank faces again.

The Taliban now control a significant amount of Afghanistan’s real estate. Are the Taliban open to negotiating, considering that they appear to be winning?  Blank faces again, but with perhaps a touch of remorse, knowing that there really is no possible military solution in Afghanistan.

To continue reading: Sen. Rand Paul: Bring home our troops and, yes, throw a parade

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