I've been very busy in the real world, with very little spare time left to even be able to turn on my home PC (which takes a whole 25 minutes to boot, and I'm not that patient) but I wanted to express my continuing gratitude to all veterans, dead or alive, who do a hard and dangerous job that I'm not brave enough to do myself.
However, I still fail to see how the current engagement in Afghanistan is strategically justified. I actually see it as an insulting mis-use of our military and as a breach of the trust that servicemen and women have placed in our democracy. We cannot send them to their deaths without a valid reason. It is an enormous responsibility on the part of the voting citizen. Remember; the 9/11 attacks were planned in Europe and in the US, not in Afghanistan. Not a single hijacker was of Afghan origin. The fact that they received training in Afghanistan is a distraction. They could just as easily have received this training over the Internet. What was that terrorist training anyway, calisthenics on monkey bars in the desert? (Remember that grainy Al Qaeda 'recruiting video' that played on TV a hundred times?)
Afghanistan is a landlocked country with few resources. The Taliban have no air force and no navy. Why do we need thousands of soldiers risking their lives over there? If you love your veterans, you will demand that your government bring them home to their families. Too many of them will have to spend the holidays far from home.
Granted, I am not privy to the daily national security briefings that the President receives, and perhaps he knows something I don't, but with the information that I do have, I don't see enough of a benefit in this war to justify keeping troops in Afghanistan any longer.
If we do have valid strategic objectives to fulfill in that remote country, let's use drones and robots, and let's stop risking the lives of our bravest and finest. Never send a man to do a robot's job. Support the troops: Bring them home!