Obviously, a strong police force and military will be essential if Afghanistan is to remain secure after U.S. and other NATO troops leave the country. But American taxpayers, who will be paying for much of the Afghan security effort, should not be burdened unnecessarily.
At one point U.S. officials set a goal of a 305,000-member Afghan security force by October. Later, Afghan officials - with the backing of U.S. leaders - said 73,000 new troops and police officers are needed. That would cost the United States about $6 billion next year alone.
The catch phrase being used to justify the request - clearly aimed at Americans who want our troops out of Afghanistan once and for all - is "irreversible transition."
In other words, the idea is that a larger Afghan security force is needed to avoid setbacks that could send U.S. troops back into the country.
It is a powerful argument, but one that should be debated. American taxpayers cannot afford a new, gigantic and ongoing bill to maintain security in Afghanistan unless the additional forces are absolutely necessary.