Friday, June 24, 2011

Dribbling Out

Dribbling out. That's what I would describe Obama's ballyhooed plan to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the president announced that he would withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of this year, and 33,000 total by the end of next year. We currently have 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. In other words, then, by the end of next year, not this year, we will have removed one-third of our troops from a country we have been fighting a war in for over ten years. One-third! When in hell are the other two-thirds coming out?

Are you kidding me? A conflict that has already taken the lives of some 4,500 American soldiers, that has cost our country over half a trillion dollars, that is disapproved of by a majority of the American people, and that is being fought for no discernible reason other than to further enrich the grossly corrupt and incompetent Afghanistan government--do you seriously think the so-called Afghan National Army and the police force will be effective in securing the country from the Taliban no matter when we leave? That is the stated goal. But, as you might recall, the original reason we went into that country was to get Bin Laden and flush Al Qaeda from their haven there. Both those original goals have been accomplished.

But of course those goals have long since been overtaken by first, nation-building (establishing a stable democracy) to the present vague aim of standing up the Afghanistan forces to cope for themselves. An open-ended commitment, actually, with no idea of what the end of the US mission there looks like at all. How in the name of all that's holy has this country let this farcical situation continue?

And I'm sure you'll be surprised to learn that the Pentagon doesn't like Obama's timetable. Naturally. It's too precipitous for them. What else did you expect?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I think Obama has once again wimped out. If it were me, I'd have every last one of our troops out of there by the end of this year, all 100,000 of them. The policy of ever fighting a war there was folly. After ten years, it's madness.
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