Afghanistan: The Deadliest Month and It's Time to Get Out

by Malou Innocent

July has been the deadliest month yet for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. At least 27 troops have died so far this month, and an estimated 746 soldiers have died since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom.

To combat the growing Taliban insurgency, the United States recently dispatched 4,000 troops to Afghanistan's restive eastern and southern provinces. The influx of troops, known as Operation Strike of the Sword, will be aimed at clearing Taliban fighters from the lower Helmand River valley and closing the border with Pakistan.

But after nearly eight years of fighting in Afghanistan, the war's strategic rationale still remains tenuous. Central Asia holds little intrinsic strategic value to the United States, and America's security will not necessarily be endangered even if an oppressive regime takes over a contiguous fraction of Afghan territory. Given Afghanistan's numerous challenges, and the fact that a protracted guerrilla war will weaken the United States militarily and economically, the fundamental objective should be to get out of Afghanistan.

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