Get Out of Afghanistan and Everywhere Else by Jacob G. Hornberger
Of course, the big bugaboo that the Pentagon now uses to justify its existence (along with the enormous tax burden necessary to sustain its enormous military) is terrorism (as compared to communism, which was the bugaboo prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Soviet Empire).
But the threat of terrorism is a direct result of what the Pentagon did both prior to and after 9/11 as part of its aggressive, interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. That threat has remained constant, of course, given the continuous killing of people in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last 8 years.
But the Pentagon knows that by withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Middle East, that constant threat of terrorist retaliation plummets. At that point, the only risk of terrorist retaliation would be from some disgruntled person whose family members or friends were killed by the U.S. military sometime in the past. There’s no need for an enormous military to deal with that possibility, and the Pentagon knows it.
If the Pentagon withdrew from the Middle East, military officials know that people might well ask, Why stop there? Why not withdraw from Europe? After all, the Cold War ended long ago. Why not withdraw from Japan. It surrendered soon after the atomic bombs were dropped. Why not withdraw from Korea? The war there ended decades ago. Why not withdraw from Africa? What business do the troops have there?