Better to withdraw than make a compromised effort 

The United States military is the best fighting force in the world. However, it’s time to reconsider our role in Afghanistan.

Either we go big or we go home. Our soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines are trained to fight and win wars. They are the best-trained and best-equipped fighting force in the world.

But we’ve tied their hands. The American people want us to give our troops everything they need to win so they can come home. In short, give them everything they need or bring the troops home.

We must define the mission: Our military is not a defensive force for rough neighborhoods around the world. They are trained to be an offensive, mission-driven military force to protect the United States of America.

A politically correct war is a lost war. If we are going to sacrifice lives and resources in this fight, we must go in with everything we have. We must be committed to win. But then we must go home.

We can win any war but only with the president’s full commitment to the mission. Absent such a commitment, our presence in Afghanistan does nothing more than endanger our troops, compromise our readiness and waste our money.

If our mission in Afghanistan is simply to protect the populace and build the nation, then I believe the time has come to bring our troops home.

We have successfully rooted out al-Qaida from Afghanistan. Fewer than 100 al-Qaida operatives are operating in Afghanistan, according to retired Gen. James L. Jones’ assessment of the situation.

We will still have to fight al-Qaida around the globe. So let’s bring home the tens of thousands who have fought so valiantly to protect America.

Let’s instead use the best human and electronic surveillance available to allow our special forces to target and kill those who actually threaten us.

Our success in Afghanistan thus far has diminished the threats once posed in that corner of the globe. However, there remain even greater threats that must be addressed if our security and prosperity are to be protected.

Iran represents the most immediate, genuine threat to world peace. Also, potential terrorist attacks are a clear and present danger to the U.S. And finally, the single greatest threat to our long-term stability is our national debt.

I believe it is time to bring our troops home. The troops have fought valiantly and won. Yet, the fight is not over.

For generations the United States must continue to hunt and kill terrorists around the world who want death and destruction for the American people. If we believe we must continue to fight in Afghanistan, let’s do so with a full commitment to win by giving the commanders in the field everything they need so they can bring all of our troops home swiftly and safely.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is part of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

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