North Texas Daily

Joe Biden withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 should boost American morale

Joe Biden withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 should boost American morale

Joe Biden withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 should boost American morale
May 01
12:00 2021

The Afghanistan war has been an intergenerational war. For many of us, this has been an inconvenient truth we’ve known for most or all our lives. Soldiers deployed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq now have adult children fighting a war that they began.

On April 14, President Joe Biden announced his intentions to pull American troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, essentially ending the longest war America has ever fought, while also on the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. This is a war that has been overseen by four presidencies.

Biden said in the speech that he felt it made little sense to keep troops grounded in one country when it costs billions of dollars each year. Especially when Mr. Biden already accomplished a major goal of the war along with former President Barack Obama, which was to bring justice to the Al-Qaeda figurehead, and the mastermind of 9/11, Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed shortly before the 10th year anniversary of the attacks.

Though there are obvious logistical benefits to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, there is a potential boost in public morale that is being overlooked. By removing American military presence from Afghanistan, we’re effectively walking away from a war that has had a stronghold on America for the past two decades. We still live with the effects of 9/11 with the creation of the TSA, a massive increase in deportations and the ongoing shadow of the war on terror. The 9/11 generation are already adults, many now with careers and children themselves, yet we still have troops on Afghanistan soil.

Withdrawing troops can’t solve everything. The increase in surveillance and creation of federal departments like Homeland Security is permanent ramifications and were likely unavoidable consequences in a world that was growing dependent on the rise of technology and social media. However, withdrawing troops does eliminate the climate the war on terror has left behind. It has affected U.S. culture for the younger generations of Americans in that we either can’t remember life pre-9/11 or were born in a post-9/11 America.

For a lot of people, it may feel America has never fully moved on from 9/11 and we really haven’t. I’m not saying that we should forget about the attacks or the victims of the terroristic act, but this is a war that has largely defined who we are as a country during the 21stcentury. We still maintain an image of unity, but we aren’t as optimistic before the attacks or as united shortly after the attacks. Unity slipped from our hands when people became divided over former President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. This is a large case of cynicism.

America’s spirit was the intended casualty for the attacks. Though I believe Al Qaeda failed in their quest, there are long-term effects from this endless battle. It’s best for American troops to leave at this point. It is a poetic yet long overdue ending to a saga of violence and loss. The president said he wants to restore the soul of America. I believe bringing soldiers back home from a now fruitless war could be chapter one in that quest.

Featured Illustration by Pooja Patel

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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