[…] Even when the United States and its coalition partners had over 130,000 troops in Afghanistan, civilian casualties were widespread. During President Barack Obama’s surge, when U.S. forces numbered nearly 100,000, there were almost 8,000 civilian casualties in 2011 alone, including over 3,000 killed that year. In 2019, the last full year before the Doha agreement was signed to end U.S. participation in the war, there were more civilian casualties than in 2020. Last year was actually the first time civilian casualties fell below 10,000 since 2013.
But that hasn’t stopped those in the Washington foreign policy establishment wedded to the war in Afghanistan from arguing that recent bad news should cause Biden to rethink the withdrawal. For example, a Washington Post editorial following the bombings suggested that central Asian basing discussions raise “the question of why the United States does not simply retain its relatively small footprint in Afghanistan” and argued that “the Biden administration should be prepared to step up its air support for Afghan forces to ensure that any Taliban offensive against Kabul or other major cities can be turned back.”
These steps would be tantamount to sinking deeper into a war that Americans are clearly ready to end. In recent polling conducted by YouGov, 66 percent of the general population supported Biden’s plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan by September. Only 14 percent opposed the withdrawal. This is mirrored by those who know war the most: our veterans. 68 percent of veterans are supportive of withdrawal with only 19 percent opposed. Läs artikel