Were our forces in Afghanistan doing any good? Can’t we see the answer to that question before us? When the United States begins to remove its forces – even gives the enemy a “heads-up” of our timeline, and the bloodthirsty Taliban moves in and the Chinese Communist Party cozies up to them. Without our forces, Afghanistan becomes the perfect nightmare. It’s as if a body’s immune system were suddenly removed and a host of viral and bacterial infections invade the body to destroy it.
For the last twenty years, the United States Military has served as that immune system for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, fighting off lethal infections of Islamic extremism and tribal fighting. Was this role essential? Absolutely, both to us in America and to the people of Afghanistan.
This critical role was first established in 2001, when Afghanistan’s sickness became lethal to the people of America. For oe of Afghanistan’s deadly infections was Al Qaeda, which had its base of operations in Afghanistan and committed horrific acts of terrorism against the American people.
Was this role as Afghanistan’s immune system costly? Of course, it was. But America had committed itself to a War on Terrorism. And by invading Afghanistan we carried the fight to the enemy’s front door. Sure, it’s logistically challenging to take the fight to the enemy. But it’s always best to fight your enemy in his own country – far better than fighting him here at home. And this strategy has paid off. Since the invasion, Al Qaeda has been uprooted and there have been no more large- scale terrorist attacks in America.
It might be helpful to remember that America, from its inception has committed itself to the policy: “Millions for Defense, but not One Cent for Tribute.” For a time in our history we even had that motto imprinted on our coins.
Of course, Afghanistan benefitted immensely from the US Military presence.
Within the first year of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the international community (160 nations) joined the U.S. in freezing billions of terrorist assets. Over $4.5 billion was committed by the international community to rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure. It only took one nation to lead the way. And in just one year of OEF, over 575,000 metric tons of food was distributed to the hungry of Afghanistan. And the US provided 7,000 metric tons of seed and 15,000 metric tons of fertilizer to more than 140,000 farming families. Within the first year of OEF, 1.7 million refugees were able to return to their homes. Later, in 2004, Afghanistan’s formal government was universally recognized. Hundreds of schools, clinics, and hospitals were opened across the country. A great many freedoms – of speech, religion, education, opportunity, etc., were established.
But wasn’t there still a lot of fighting going on. Yes, throughout this period Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines have been risking and sacrificing their lives to secure Afghanistan’s newfound freedoms as well as to prevent any more massive attacks at home. Of course, a similar war is raging within your own skin, an “around the clock” war that your immune system fights to keep you healthy and alive. And as soon you remove that immune system, your body will be overcome by every virus and bacterium that invades it or is already present in it. So, none of us should be shocked by the results of removing Afghanistan’s only defense.
But if the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan proves anything, it’s that for the last twenty years our military has been doing its job very well. Our Soldiers didn’t choose to leave Afghanistan. They were ordered to do so. Nor was our military defeated by the enemy. They destroyed Al Qaeda and kept the Taliban in their caves. Only when our Soldiers were ordered to withdraw did the Taliban resurface. And only when our government guaranteed the Taliban an exit date, did they become so bold as to parade through Kabul.
If anything, this withdrawal has proven that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are absolutely critical to humanity’s protection against evil. And should we pursue our suicidal course of “defunding the police” at home, we’ll experience the same chaos and outbreak of evil in America that we see on the streets of Kabul. As our body can only survive with a robust immune system, so our nation needs its Armed Forces and Law Enforcement. They are “the Sword” of our nation. And as Paul the apostle said, a nation “does not bear the sword for nothing. It is the servant of God, an avenger who brings divine wrath upon those who do evil” (Romans 13:4).
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, as the men and woman of our Armed forces are ordered to walk away from the tyranny of the wicked, please bless and encourage them. They labored and sacrificed to both keep us safe at home, but also to help guarantee a bright future for the people of Afghanistan. Please assure them that they have not failed in their mission. With all their might they carried the baton for their segment of the race and ran at a winning pace. Help the people of America to applaud them for their efforts and support them in all their future missions. Help the people of America to value and thank all those who risk their lives to serve as our Nation’s sword both at home and abroad. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Causey (USA Retired). David’s vast experience brings a keen perspective to things happening in our world today. David has been a senior writer for The Warriors Journey since 2018.