AFGHANISTAN IS once again being talked about in the media. In a presidential election year, neither Obama and Romney offer a way out of U.S. policy that holds the American taxpayer hostage, while we watch our soldiers get murdered.

Al Qaeda has been beaten in Afghanistan, Obama’s primary goal, so why are we still there? Why are Americans staying silent on this policy? Why does the country accept what Obama and Romney are offering on Afghanistan in the face of what’s been spent and what’s happening now?

Last night on “60 Minutes,” Lara Logan got the interview with the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen:

Lara Logan: You’re in a tough spot right now. Can you explain why the sudden increase in these attacks?

Allen: Well, I’m mad as hell about them, to be honest with you. We’re going to get after this. It reverberates everywhere, across the United States. You know, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot for this campaign. But we’re not willing to be murdered for it.

Gen. Allen may be “mad as hell,” but he’s just going to have to keep taking it, because Obama is dug in and there is no conservative acting the part, with Mitt Romney’s neoconservative band of bloviators ready to take us back to the Bush-Cheney alternative.

We’ve got two more years of this madness, but we’ll keep paying until 2024.

In addition to restricting joint patrols by small units, the military has also required its forces to wear body armor and carry loaded weapons whenever they are in the presence of Afghan forces. And early in September training activities between Special Operations troops and new Afghan local police recruits were suspended because of several insider attacks involving the militia forces. While those restrictions remain in force, Pentagon officials on Thursday said that joint operations among smaller units were returning to normal levels because of expedited approvals by higher commanders. [New York Times]