It would, of course, be foolish to pretend that there is a neat solution to the chaos in Afghanistan, a poverty-stricken country divided on tribal, ethnic, and religious lines, fought over by a bevy of outside powers, and plagued by violence for more than four decades.
There isn’t. But here’s what the hawks don’t tell you: Afghan civilians are already dying in big numbers, not only despite the presence of U.S. forces — 2018 saw Afghan civilian deaths hit a record high — but because of them, too. How many Americans are aware of the fact that in the first six months of this year, the Afghan government and its U.S.-led international allies killed more civilians than the Taliban? Shouldn’t that shock us all?