It wasn’t long before we were told that bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorists had fled across the border to Pakistan. Now the war became a struggle against al Qaeda’s allies, the Taliban. Our troops conducted campaigns to destroy poppy fields, to pacify the country and win friendship for America and American values and to try to get the Taliban and tribal leaders to cease their antipathy toward our troops and our country.
We currently have 88,000 troops in this war torn country. There have been 1,800-plus U.S. military fatalities and a much larger number of wounded and psychologically impaired. Many of the U.S. casualties have occurred at the hands of Afghans, who had been trained by the U.S. forces and were expected to be allies.
Almost entirely overlooked is that this struggle is being conducted under the auspices of NATO, a United Nations “Regional Arrangement,” according to the UN Charter that authorizes the creation of it, and maintains oversight over it. This means that decisions about this lengthy struggle aren’t being made by U.S. officials but by NATO’s leaders.
I realize that many Americans believe that our nation had no other choice but to conduct war against Afghanistan. We had to respond to the 9/11 attacks, they say, and Afghanistan was the right place to do it.
But is it true that we had no other choice?
Within days of the 9/11 attacks, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to authorize the State Department to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal against those who had committed the terrorist atrocities. These letters would legally enable U.S. citizens to hunt down, deal with and seize the assets of the named individuals and groups. There could even be a reward offered to anyone who achieved success. The power to issue such documents appears in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
I think this would have been worth a try rather than sending American forces into the 10-year-old Afghan struggle.
Since we did go to war, what is the best thing to do now? Simple: Get us out of the United Nations. This would get us out of NATO and all other UN subsidiaries. Our foreign policy would then be conducted, as it should be, with only U.S. interests in mind, with no foreign entanglements, no policing the world, and no unnecessary deaths and injuries to those who wear the uniforms of our nation’s military.