The 10-year slog

Time is on the Taliban’s side in Afghanistan

As Newsweek reported recently, the difference between the U.S. forces and the Taliban in Afghanistan is summed up in an expression often attributed to a captured Taliban fighter: “You have the watches, we have the time.”

As of this week, the Taliban have been fighting the U.S. and other coalition countries for 10 full years, longer than any other war in our history, and they’re clearly prepared to fight for as long as it takes. It’s their land, and both God and time are on their side, they believe.

The revelation this week that Afghan security forces—whose salaries we American taxpayers pay for—regularly torture captives should come as no surprise. The Karzai government is one of the most corrupt on earth, has only nominal control over its military forces, and lacks the confidence of the Afghan people. And yet the U.S. is spending billions of dollars—projected to be $557.1 billion through 2012, according to Newsweek—to prop it up, just as it once did the corrupt government of Vietnam.

According to polls, a majority of Americans—64 percent—believe the war is not worth fighting. They know the money being spent in Afghanistan would make us safer if it were being spent rebuilding our own country. After 10 years, it’s time to bring the troops home.