We are now in a position to seal a United States-Taliban agreement that would lead to intra-Afghan negotiations and move the conflict into the political realm. We should not miss this opportunity.
The war has exacted an overwhelming cost: 1,892 American military personnel killed in action and 20,589 wounded, about a trillion dollars spent, the psychological and emotional impact on veterans and their families, and similar material and human costs to our allies. And there is the devastating cost paid by the people of Afghanistan: Of the 147,000 killed in the war since 2001, more than 38,000 have been civilians. This long war must end.