After 19 years, the U.S. is finally ending its relentless war in Afghanistan. At least, so goes the current story.

Of course, the optics of President Trump’s declaration that “we can finally begin to bring our amazing troops back home,” as well as the U.S. signing of a truce in Doha, Qatar, with the Taliban, would make it seem that way.

But as Truthdig columnist, author and retired U.S. Army Maj. Danny Sjursen points out in this clip from The Real News Network, there’s a difference between the official version that’s issued by various heads of state and what actually happens next.

Sjursen — who, as it happens, is broadcasting from Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer’s living room in Southern California — tells TRNN’s Marc Steiner that he agrees with Trump’s approach, at least in theory:

Well you know, it’s really hard to predict how this unfolds. I will say that any principle, conceptually … I agree with the president’s idea that it is time to go. That a withdrawal has been long appropriate, right? We should have probably withdrawn long ago. What’s unclear is the sincerity of the American position, how long this will hold, if at all.

There’s the catch. And Sjursen ought to know, what with his own experience in that conflict.

He continues:

Are we going to get caught in a trap? What I mean is, there is a sunken cost trap where you say, “Well, we can’t leave, because too many people have worked with us who will now be at risk. We can’t leave, because if we leave then the women in Kabul would be at risk if the Taliban takes over.” But the problem with that is … just logically, it’s a formula for potentially forever war since we have not shown the capacity to win. Because we’re in a worse position militarily than we have been ever in the war, just empirically.

And that’s just one of many questions only time can answer — but meanwhile, Sjursen does his best to try.

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