Recently, Secretary of Defense James Mattis has stated that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was done too quickly. In 2014, President Obama withdrew most of the troops from Afghanistan in 2014, leaving control of operations to the Afghan security forces, leaving behind only a residual force in an advisory capacity. This, of course, was after his infamous surge in 2011 that put troop levels in Afghanistan at an all-time high. However, after years of direct US involvement, President Obama decided it was better to let the Afghans have direct control over the agenda and he withdrew most of the troops, although he didn't completely end the conflict.
The War in Afghanistan is the longest US military conflict in history, lasting for over 15 years, with the full American occupation phase lasting just short of 14 years. To contrast, the second longest US military conflict was the Moro Rebellion in the Philippines, which lasted 14 years (1899-1913). Now, Donald Trump has given greater leeway to the Department of Defense to engage abroad, which has led to a greater desire to engage in conflicts abroad This contrasts with President Obama's desire to supervise the military closely. Trump has now given Mattis the authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan, which is now likely to increase. Sen. John McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee that “We’re now six months into this administration. We still haven’t got a strategy for Afghanistan. It makes it hard for us to support you when we don’t have a strategy."
The desire to increase troop involvement comes the desire to finish off the Taliban as well as prevent ISIL from gaining a prominent foothold in Afghanistan. These are noble goals. But, we have been in Afghanistan for over 15 years. And, if you really want to get technical, we have been involved since the 1970s when we funded the Taliban precursor, the mujahideen, on the pretext of removing the communist government. The mujahideen, of course, took control of Afghanistan and transformed it into an Islamist state, leading the US to want to take out its former ally on the pretext of the "War on Terror". Even if we only count the 15 years of involvement since 9/11, if we still haven't "won" the war in Afghanistan, then there is no winning to be had. Afghanistan has been deemed as "the graveyard of empires" for a reason. The Soviet Union, the British Empire, and even Alexander the Great himself have all tried their luck in Afghanistan and failed, which ultimately led to the downfall of each.
Instead of embroiling ourselves in quagmires in the Middle East, the United States should focus on problems at home, like Trump said he would. Don't send more American men and women to die in a pointless, unwinnable war; fix American infrastructure. Flint still doesn't have clean water, fix that problem. Don't waste American dollars abroad and then claim that spending them on social welfare is a waster; actually spend it on the people, where it should be spent. Finally, Democrats, please oppose increased military aggression abroad with every fiber of your being. Actually be the party of peace for a change.