Try to follow the logic of Republican Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida in this NPR interview excerpt:
And yes, we may have had to end up having 5,000 instead of 2,500 that was left there at the end of the Bush - excuse me - the Trump administration. But I think we have to think about that as an insurance premium. Are we - were we willing to continue to pay that to prevent the catastrophic attack?
And what is clear from the intelligence community and now from the generals is that al-Qaida fully intends to attack us again. They fully intend and are reconstituting. And I don't want to wait for another Pulse nightclub or San Bernardino or, God forbid, another 9/11.
Wait? What? The San Bernardino shooters were a couple living in California. He was from Chicago and she was from Pakistan. The Pulse Nightclub shooter was from New York and living in Florida. More to the point, these attacks happened while US forces were in Afghanistan. Obviously our being there didn't help protect us in America.
The war in Afghanistan has cost $2.3 trillion and thousands of lives; that's a very expensive insurance policy. As Waltz himself admits it didn't stop terrorist attacks in America.
Terrorist organizations don't need to be in Afghanistan or any particular country. Isis or al-Qaida can be anywhere and in multiple locations while coordinating their activities. Not to mention in every radical movement there are nuts willing to kill without explicit instructions.
Rep. Waltz is veteran of Afghanistan. He is like a lot of veterans. They instinctively realize that no matter how it's sugar-coated our withdrawal means they were on the losing side whether they admit it not. We shouldn't decide our foreign policy based on the hurt feelings of vets.
The bottom line is that San Bernardino and Pulse Nightclub were terrible crimes. Like all crimes we cannot expect to eliminate them altogether. Whether it's drive-by shootings, abusive husbands, school shootings or whatever sort of murder you can name, some are inevitable no matter how effective the police are in combatting crime. The military is even less effective in stopping domestic terroristic crimes.
The most we can hope for is that some good citizen sees something and says something. The other option is that we live in a police state in which all private communication (and someday thoughts) is monitored by Big Brother.