Many years of public service have convinced U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito that the most effective education on world trouble spots requires going there. So, just before Thanksgiving, she and a small group of lawmakers did just that. They traveled to Afghanistan.
There, Capito, R-W.Va., and the others talked with both U.S. forces and officials and Afghans, including that nation’s president, Ashraf Ghani.
Many Americans seem eager for President Donald Trump to simply pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, and the sooner, the better. Capito came away with a different impression.
“It was clear to me during this trip that the areas our military is working on, in terms of counter-terrorism, are exceedingly important to helping the Afghan national forces, national police, and their government secure more of their territory,” Capito commented in a statement released after she returned home.
Without U.S. support, the Afghan government risks “being overtaken by very violent terrorist groups, which in turn will endanger our homeland,” Capito explained.
One picture taken during her trip illustrates Capito’s point. It shows her, along with Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., posing with members of the Afghan National Security Force — all women.
Since U.S. forces ousted the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, women and girls have enjoyed freedoms they were denied previously. If the Taliban regain power — as they are striving by violent means to do — there is little doubt they will resume repression of women.
That sort of mindset by former Taliban leaders led them to shelter al-Qaida terrorists including Osama bin Laden, as that group will planning its Sept. 11, 2001 assault on America.
Trump has been handling the Taliban cautiously, but it appears talks to end the war in Afghanistan have resumed.
Simply giving in to the Taliban would serve neither Afghans nor Americans. Capito is right: The fight in Afghanistan is not just about that country, but also ours.