Tom Umberg, a former Democratic state assemblyman in California and an Afghanistan War veteran, disagrees. "We still have a clear national interest there," he told me. At this very moment, there are children attending schools where they are planning to kill Americans and U.S. allies. "They are our sworn enemies."
The question Americans should ask themselves, he added, is whether they want Afghanistan to return as "the petri dish for terrorism that it once was."
Obama has every right to demand a signed agreement as a condition for continued but limited U.S. military support. But voters should be aware that if Washington were to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, the war might be over, but the threat would not.