YouSpeak: Time to Get Out of Afghanistan?
Operation Enduring Freedom 10 years later
It’s been 10 years since the United States invaded Afghanistan, making that war the longest in the nation’s history. Some progress has been made: Osama bin Laden has been killed, the Taliban has been weakened, a constitutional amendment has legalized equality for women, and Afghans have voted in their first parliamentary elections in 30 years.
But those gains were expensive. According to the Department of Defense, 1,693 American military personnel have been killed and 14,455 have been wounded. The Costs of War study, directed by Neta Crawford, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of political science, and Catherine Lutz, a Brown University professor of anthropology, estimates that Operation Enduring Freedom has cost the United States $443.5 billion. The study puts the number of Afghan civilians killed by violence to be somewhere between 12,500 and 14,700. And there have been significant human rights violations.
Today, nearly 100,000 American troops remain on the ground in Afghanistan. And while that number is expected to shrink by about 30,000 by next summer, Americans are deeply divided over the military commitment. A recent CBS News poll found that 58 percent of Americans felt the United States should not be there. Only 35 percent said continuing to fight was the right thing to do.
This week’s “YouSpeak” asks: “Should the United States pull out of Afghanistan?”
“YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.
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