War is Over: The End of the Afghanistan War

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By Quentin Choy

After 20 years of war and 4 presidential administrations, the U.S. War in Afghanistan has finally concluded.

Upon the September 31st deadline, the United States withdrew its final troops, with Major General Chris Donahue being the final American soldier to leave.

The United States and its allies have evacuated over 114,000 people from Afghanistan, saving the lives of many translators, interpreters, and Afghans who supported the United States’ efforts in Afghanistan.

All of the goals originally set forth for the war were achieved, and new goals were added, unnecessarily prolonging the war through 4 administrations.

After the defeat of al-Qaeda and the killing of bin Laden, victory should have been declared and the war been deemed over. The objectives of victory had been met.

It’s a relief to know that the United States has ended this war and that Americans are now safer. It’s also chilling to see just how futile much of the war was in regards to how quickly the Taliban and ISIS claimed power throughout Afghanistan.

“After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan — a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan — for two decades — yes, the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for two decades.”

President Joe Biden

Originally, I was very skeptical about Joe Biden’s announcement that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Having seen unkept promises made by the Obama and Trump administrations, I was doubtful in Biden’s ability, especially since he voted to approve the Iraq War as a senator.

Despite relentless media attacks and pressure from Republicans and those within his own party, I’m glad that Biden stuck to his plan and did what was right.

Even some unexpected figures like right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter praised Biden for sticking with his promise to withdraw.

Biden’s approval ratings have dipped, especially when respondents were asked about the issue of Afghanistan in particular.

The same media that fell in love with Joe Biden just 6 months ago attacked him relentlessly over his commitment to end this war.

The media hardly paid any attention to the deaths of Americans and Afghans in this war over the last decade, and they only began to cover Afghanistan from a pro-war perspective once they realized that Joe Biden was serious in his decision to end this war.

“After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.”

President Joe Biden

It’s scary and troubling to see how quickly those in power are to attack and condemn anyone who dares to side with peace.

It’s even more troubling to see how silent they are in failing to condemn those who support and continue war.

While Biden’s approval rating may have dipped over his decision to withdraw, much of the distaste toward withdrawal came from media coverage of the withdrawal rather than the withdrawal itself.

Many presidents who have gone to war have been propped up by the media. Now, those who end war are attacked by it.

Presidents who escalated wars, especially quagmires like Presidents Johnson and Bush Jr, saw their approval ratings fall.

However, Presidents who ended long wars like Presidents Eisenhower and Ford were usually viewed favorably or indifferently toward their decisions.

I think that Biden’s decision to do the right thing will be rewarded and that his numbers will recover. In the same way people forgot about our men and women dying in Afghanistan, they will forget about our withdrawal.

Our memories are short and our hearts are fickle. The outrage toward the president is unlikely to last.

How rare is it to have a president who chooses peace over war!

While Joe Biden is far from perfect, he did the right thing on this issue, and in time, history will look kindly upon him for this act, despite the short-term condemnation.

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Yes, I agree. By ending the war, Biden did the right thing.

    Of course he will be criticized for this, especially by the political right. But it was still the right thing to do. And there’s a good chance that will regain some of that lost support.

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