Three thousand Americans lost their lives in the attacks on 9/11. More than 23,000 Americans have been killed or wounded in the Afghanistan conflict. It’s simple math. The war in Afghanistan has resulted in a terrible loss of American life, robbing us of some of our greatest and brightest. For what? To nation build?

When I deployed to Afghanistan, our mission was simple: disrupt terrorism and the network of training camps. We did that through 2003 and should have left, but we stayed—and it got worse and worse. So now what?

We need to hold our elected officials accountable this coming election year. Their decisions have led to more than a decade of failed foreign policy.

My son (who was born November 30, 2001 while I was in Afghanistan) competes in speech and debate. While watching examples of high school debate competitions, I came across one of the most well-reasoned speeches I’ve heard about the war in Afghanistan and the myopic strategy the U.S. has maintained throughout the conflict. It’s simply an amazing speech by a high school kid that should be watched by every elected official in Washington. And if that idiot SpongeBob Squarepants finally figured it out—as explained in the video below—hopefully the politicians in D.C. can do so as well.