A MESSAGE FROM OUR NEW ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: “Ending wars requires compromise and partnership. We met the challenge; we gave it our all. Now, it’s time to come home.”

Related: New Acting SecDef Is a Former ‘Horse Soldier’ Who Played Key Role in Afghanistan Invasion.

UPDATE: People seem unclear on what’s going on here, so here are my thoughts: There could be no victory in Afghanistan because the schwerpunkt of the Afghan conflict was Pakistan, since the Taliban are a creation of the Pakistani ISI. The U.S was unwilling to address Pakistan because it is a nuclear power, and a Saudi client. The schwerpunkt of the conflict with Pakistan, however, was Saudi Arabia, and Trump’s peace deal with the Saudis — which required them to stop supporting anti-US terrrorism — addressed that issue. But a Biden Administration will focus on reconciliation with Iran, and the Saudis will likely renege on the deal if (and when) they decide the U.S. has done so. The withdrawal from Afghanistan is an effort to get ahead of that, so as not to leave hostages, or to allow a more-obvious defeat.