The United States of America is a force for good throughout the world. We do not simply rest on the solidarity of our power; instead we use our power for what we believe to be the best interests of the world at large. We sometimes become very involved in other countries’ affairs. But we must not become a nation of war. The world needs peace. It needs democracy, strong foreign relations between countries, and the evolvement of the human race into a less bloodthirsty, primitive species. These changes come slowly, but they must come, or eventually a war will come that the world will not survive. If war is part of our nature, then our nature must change. We invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that his regime must be toppled because of this, the oppression of the Iraqi people, and his support for terrorism. There were no weapons of mass destruction. That was a grave misjudgment on the part of the United States. As for the oppression of the Iraqi, two wrongs do not make a right. When a regime hurts people, the correct response is not to hurt more people; many of the same people, in fact. Diplomacy can save more lives and do more than guns can ever hope to do. We should have first tried to eliminate the hardships and general oppression of the Iraqi people under his regime. Heal the wound; don’t seek out the man who dealt it for revenge. If that hadn’t solved the issue, war should still not have been the answer. We should have tried to compromise Hussein in the UN, and when met with opposition, we should have listened to their arguments that there was no evidence that weapons of mass destruction were indeed in Iraq. Instead, we invaded Iraq, and because of it, more than a million people died, American and Iraqi, after only four years of the now almost nine year occupation. We have no right to continue infringing upon their rights as a recognized country, nor do we have the right to continue stealing the lives of young men and women from their families and friends for the sake of a war that didn’t need to happen in the first place. We need to bring home our troops. There is nothing more guns can achieve in Iraq. We need to help them rebuild their country, but not by taking over their country. We need to give them aid, resources, political support, etc. We need to retract our military presence so that their new government can assume power over its own country. In Afghanistan as well, our troops must be pulled out. We went into Afghanistan to attempt to compromise the Taliban and free the Afghan people from it. We have now trained more than 350,000 expert Afghan troops to defend the people of Afghanistan. There is nothing more we can do for the militaristically. As in Iraq, we need to give them political and material aid to help them expand independently as a unified nation. We have given them the power to defend themselves. We no longer need to maintain military presence there when every day our military is in Afghanistan, our young men and women and many more Afghan innocent civilians are killed. We are like a mother holding a child’s hand to teach them to walk. At first the mother is helping the child because he is learning to walk for himself, but then he has learned, and still she grips his hand; she becomes a hindrance to him, even a cause of pain. We caused many tens of thousands of deaths through our invasion of Afghanistan. We owe the Afghans their freedom. We owe them peace. It's time to let them live their lives and let our soldiers lead theirs.