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The Blue & Gray Press | August 15, 2018

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Rising Death Toll in Afghanistan Proves Troops Should Return Home

By RYAN QUINT

The rattle of an AK-47, sharp in the quiet desert, probably marked the 2,000th American casualty in Operation Enduring Freedom.

I say probably because the 2,000th death was caused by the ever-increasing “green-on-blue” attacks. This means Afghan soldiers and policemen, trained by NATO forces in Afghanistan since the conflict’s start, are attacking those same NATO forces. According to a New York Post article, so far in 2012 alone, more than 50 American and other national forces have been killed by those attacks.

It is time to leave Afghanistan. There is no better proof than the attacks by the so-called “allies” of the coalition. How long does the United States have to stand losing its service members at the hands of disguised Afghan soldiers?

The American objective has been accomplished; we invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to get the madman behind Sept. 11, Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden has been dead for a year and a half now, and still we find our troops in the line of fire and dodging enemy explosives. Trillions of American dollars have been thrown into this conflict, $22 billion alone in the last three years training Afghan soldiers and policemen, according to the New York Post. As seen by the 52 fatalities in the last year at the hands of allies, that plan is not working.

I am not judging every Afghani in uniform, but I am also not willing to support a conflict in which American soldiers are being killed, not on a battlefield, but on the training grounds and within their own camps.

The 2014 timetable for a complete withdrawal is too slow. The Afghanis have made it more than clear that they do not want our help. Hamid Karzai’s administration has made it all too clear that they are willing to go behind our backs, and it is time to stop pouring our money into his coffers.

This conflict is the longest in American military history—eleven years this month—and it is time to put the battle flags back in their cases.

It took nine years for American casualties to reach the 1,000 mark, and it has only taken 27 months for the other 1,000 fatalities, according to icasualties.org. If that casualty ratio keeps up, how many more losses can this country expect to suffer? How many lives are too many? Is it 3,000? 4,000? How many of those deaths will be caused by our own “allies”?