The United States has more than 500 military bases in more than 50 countries around the world. These bases are intended for logistical purpose, communications, intelligence gathering and as staging areas for actions in defense of allies or America. Lest you think America is alone in this regard, Canada, France, the UK, Australia, India and other allies have numerous bases on foreign soil. And of course Russia and China have many.

I am saddened by America’s catastrophic departure from Afghanistan. I’m not sure I would have called our presence a “war” per se. It was a strategic hub intended to maintain the dignity of the Afghan people. And to destroy the Taliban, ISIS and other terrorist groups whose evil and savage butchery have victimized the people of many nations – including America. In 20 years of presence, 2,430 American military personnel have been killed. None had been killed (until two weeks ago) in the last year and a half. While each life is sacred, the number of American military personnel killed in 20 years is just a whisper higher than the 2,000 American servicemen killed every single week during the nearly four years of World War II. Those men and women died to protect America and the world from the same kind of tyranny.

The sudden and precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan has unlatched the door to a darkness and cruelty that is quickly descending on Afghanistan. We have callously ignored the lives and dignity of the Afghan people and unlatched the door to a future investment of human capital around the world that could massively eclipse the investment to date.

The end is still not in sight.