These people won! Bring them home as heroes!
I say, we won the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and as such should bring home the large bulk of soldiers we have over there.
We killed Saddam in Iraq. Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda fled Afghanistan, leaving about 100 guys. The old governments are gone, replaced with democracies. We have huge embassies in each (read military bases) and we have economic problems at home.
Now, that isn’t to say there a lot of stuff wrong in those countries. But those problems exist post-victory. Much like how the North won the Civil war, but the South Carolina statehouse kept waving the confederate flag. People still where the flag on their jackets and pickup trucks. It took us about a hundred years AFTER winning the civil war to get blacks some semblance of equality. Likewise in Iraq and Afghanistan, it may be close to a hundred years before there is some semblance of equality for everyone in that country (hell, in the US we’re still squeamish about letting the gays marry).
We won WWI, but a few years later Germany was still mad and started WWII. We won WWII, but people still wear the Nazi Swastika and Jews are still locked up in a tiny bit of land surrounded by people trying to kill them. We won the Revolutionary War, but it was decades before we had civil relations with England.
So yes, there are still Taliban guys killing their own people and there are still dumbasses killing each other for sectarian reasons. The countries are still infected with violent islamic extremism, they still have horrible governments, they’re still illiterate and they’re not likely to get better in 18 months or 18 years. Maybe in 2 generations they’ll be ready to join the international community as sensible equals. But that isn’t a problem the military can fix. That’s not a war. There isn’t a US military solution to “Karzai is a giant raging corrupt thieving douche bag” or “violent extremist islamic nut jobs think Achmed the Dead Terrorist is a good role model for little kids”.
How can we as a nation send our families to war, and then after they win the war, pull the rug out from under them and say:
There isn't a US military solution to "Karzai is a giant raging corrupt thieving douche bag"
“oh, um, yeah, I know you think you’ve done your job, but um, now you have to build a fully functioning democracy in the asshole of the world with a population that is 90% illiterate, a government that is corrupt, a legislature that legalizes rape and a people that think America is Satan. So um, good luck coming home before that 100 year mark McCain warned us about.”
Therefore, we should:
A. Bring home the bulk of our forces
B. Leave a few thousand soldiers (5,000-10,000 tops) as special forces, trainers, air force, support, etc.
C. Have parades for the troops that have been through so much and fought so hard and won us everything a military can win.
D. Continue to give both countries monetary aid, loans, technical assistance, protection from foreign governments and internal terrorist groups, and diplomatic support whenever possible.
“D” there is important. We won the war, we still need to win the peace. We put ourselves over there, it is our responsibility to help them. That is our responsibility, helping. It is not our responsibility to spend 1 million per soldier per year holding their country together.
So please, please America. Let’s admit the simple truth, we won the wars. We can bring our people home and throw them the biggest parade the world has ever seen.