Let's say there was a war on, but no cost-effective way to supply the troops fighting it. Would any nation continue down the road, fighting and bleeding itself, literally and figuratively, dry from the costs of supplying the troops? Or would a strategic, big-picture sort of superpower finally know when to call it a day?
The time has come to call it a day.
The whole point of keeping Afghanistan more or less Taliban-free was to allow Pakistan time to establish control over its own internal problems. That rather unserious dream died when Pakistan failed to find anyone decent to run the country after former Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf was driven from power.
It was the need to keep Musharraf in power that drove the Afghan war. Stability in Pakistan was in the vital interests of the United States when Musharraf was in power. Now, no one remembers his name, or remembers that, once he left power, there was no point in hoping for a strong, cleansing leader of Pakistan.
No, what we got was the face-saving measure in light of the fact that we were already leaving Iraq.
Sooner, much rather than later, we should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan and leave that country to the tribes that are pretty much going to own it anyway. What difference does a few years make, given the fact that we no longer have Pakistan as an ally?