Our presumed good intentions allow us to rationalize destroyed hospitals, pulverized houses and children's corpses as preventable accidents, so long as we promise to try real hard to avoid such errors during the next blitz.
If the Afghan government wishes to combat the Taliban and get support from rank and file Afghans, it is imperative that they provide basic services to the people. This would be almost impossible to achieve in the absence of bureaucrats.
The great thing about Afghanistan is that as soon as you start to forget why we should leave, something happens to remind you. Just how many reminders do we need? How much longer will we allow a tragedy that can no longer command front page coverage continue to torture American families?
The Taliban continues to out-govern the inept Afghan government at nearly every turn (creating "converts" or passive supporters) along the way, further eroding Afghan government influence and/or control over the local population.
Do we have national interest in the region? Well, yes, but that means Pakistan, not Afghanistan. There is no evidence that squatting in Afghanistan is doing anything for safeguarding Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
Rule of law is the lynchpin to long-term stability in Afghanistan. Yet the military's tradition of steering clear of law enforcement activities, especially evidence-gathering responsibilities, is weakening the justice system.
Already, thousands of our readers have signed a letter and contacted the White House urging a new way forward in Afghanistan. I encourage you to read it and to endorse this message if you have not done so already.