• 59°

Afghanistan war must finally end

Orange County Register

The Trump administration has reportedly instructed its top diplomats to engage in direct talks with the Taliban. That’s a welcome and important step toward ending the wasteful war in Afghanistan.

A preliminary discussion was held last month in Qatar, the Washington Post reported, after The New York Times broke the initial story. “We agreed to meet again soon and resolve the Afghan conflict through dialogue,” a Taliban official said.

While it is too soon to say what might come of such talks, engaging with the Taliban is a critical development in winding down the conflict.

After all, according to a BBC study published earlier this year, the Taliban remains active in 70 percent of the country even after 17 years of conflict.

At the very least, the effort should be made to seek a peaceful resolution to the war in Afghanistan.

The alternative — perpetual war with no prospects for a diplomatic resolution, or any resolution, for that matter — has proven to be a deadly, costly and futile effort.

Bogged down

For 17 years, the United States has been bogged down in Afghanistan with little to show for it.

Even the notion that the U.S. must remain there to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a “safe haven” for terrorists falls apart when one realizes Afghanistan is still a safe haven for groups that want to do Americans harm.

“The Afghanistan war is almost old enough to vote, and we have more groups that want to launch attacks against the U.S. operating there than we did when we started,” Caitlin Forrest from the Institute for the Study of War told The New York Times.

ISIS, for example, did not exist when the U.S. launched its quixotic “war on terror,” yet it now operates in countries around the world, including Afghanistan.

American blood and treasure has been expended in pursuit of a conflict that has long since lost any discernible set of goals. And, victory in Afghanistan has been elusive in large part because what victory would actually entail hasn’t properly been defined.

President Trump, to his credit, has repeatedly expressed criticism of America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. In April, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, told the Washington Post that the president was inclined to end the war in Afghanistan.

‘Getting the hell out’

“The president told me over and over again in general we’re getting the hell out of there,” Paul said. “I think the president’s instincts and inclination are to resolve the Afghan conflict.”

Perhaps the talks are a sign of things to come.

If President Trump can preside over the end of the war in Afghanistan, it will be a commendable achievement which will save American lives and taxpayer money.

The sooner the war ends, the better.

Comments

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards