The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 22, 2012

Our View: Troops deserve better

In the last 12 days, nine U.S. troops have been killed by “insider” Afghanistan attacks, meaning Afghanistan government forces have launched the attacks. Some 40 U.S. personnel have been killed in these types of attacks in the last year.

 Finally, the airplane designated for use by an American general, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was damaged due to an attack, supposedly launched by insurgents.

It is one thing for Americans to have to die in combat against enemy forces. But for our men and women to be held at risk by supposed allied military forces is inexcusable, in our view. Just who are we sending our men and women into combat to support?

Since late 2009, our armed forces have continued to engage in combat in Afghanistan after President Obama ordered an increase in the numbers of such American forces. We challenge the administration and our military commanders to show how that decision improved, measurably, our ability to bring combat to a close on terms agreeable to American interests.

We continue to engage in combat against Taliban enemy insurgents with little or no progress to bring the Taliban and their supporters to a final negotiation to end combat. That in itself is a sad outcome after 11 years of warfare.

But now it seems, on an increasing scale, we are engaged in combat with Afghanistan government forces as well. To us it is  is inexcusable to subject our military personnel to such conditions. We cannot understand how it would be possible to establish reasonable rules of engagement clearly telling our combat troops how to identify their enemy.

Face it America, we have lost the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. We have not won the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan, yet we continue to subject our combat forces to deadly conditions. Why do we continue to do so?

The people of America deserve a straight answer to that question. The administration, as well as the politicians we have elected or who are running for office, need to answer this question.

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