On Tuesday, Senators John Kerry (D) and Richard Lugar (R) suggested that the President review the Afghan War effort in light of bin Laden’s death.
I think the Senators’ suggestion is an appropriate one.
Early on, the Afghan conflict expanded from a limited counterterrorism effort to a full-blown counterinsurgency operation.
Afghanistan’s rugged terrain makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the central government in Kabul to maintain consistent control of the country. Widespread government corruption further complicates this effort.
Bin Laden’s death is a perfect opportunity for the President to claim victory in the War on Terror as a rationale to scale back a counterinsurgency campaign that is costing the United States government $10 billion a month.
Instead, the United States should revert to a light footprint in Afghanistan focused predominantly on counterterrorism. The bulk of the American military presence should be reduced to special forces operatives and Predator drones focused on destroying the remnants of al Qaeda.