Is “peace in our time” in Afghanistan at hand? President Trump thinks so. He described the agreement signed Saturday by an American diplomat and a Taliban official as providing “a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.” We must hope that he is correct.
Yet the prospective end of the longest war in U.S. history does not find Americans dancing in the streets. With the spread of the coronavirus and the ongoing drama of the Democratic primaries, Afghanistan figures at best as an afterthought in news media and the public mind. Besides, the nation has long since grown weary of armed interventions that drag on and on as if on autopilot. No Gettysburg, no D-day — just sporadic reports of bombs dropped and people killed.
Even so, while the peace plan may not prompt Americans to celebrate, it ought to provide an occasion for sober reflection. At least for now, our instinctive urge to move on, to forget, can wait.