Citing top military and White House officials, McClatchy reports that administration officials plan to start backing off of the 2011 date for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
Instead, the White House wants to revamp the timeline toward 2014 –the year Afghan President Hamid Karzai targeted as when the country would be ready to take care of its own security.
“We found that we cannot fully transition to the Afghans by July 2011,” said one senior administration official. “So we felt we couldn’t focus on July 2011 but the period it will take to make the full transition.”Pentagon officials say that the 2011 deadline had made it difficult to keep the support of the Pakistani military, which is integral to keeping Taliban supporters out of Afghanistan.
Now that the elections are over and Democrats are under less political pressure, McClatchy says that administration officials plan to be deliberately vague about deadlines and will be more flexible about the timeline for withdrawal.
The White House will formally reveal the new policy at a NATO meet-up in Portugal next week.
And isn’t it interesting that the war in Afghanistan was hardly mentioned during the midterm campaigns. We Americans, for the most part, are disconnected from war. There is no shared sacrifice. There is no draft and the funding is “off-budget.” Our military… our poor fighting men and women… this is how we honor their service? On this day?
Americans are griping about tax cuts —we don’t pay our share— and while we’re receiving tax cuts at some of the highest levels in history, we have politicians who wouldn’t dare to ask that we pull our own weight; in fact, I doubt we we’re even willing.
In 2003, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured reported that the cost of our invasion in Iraq would be $60 billion. We’re now flirting with a trillion, and that’s not counting the residual cost that comes after the bombs have stopped dropping. Imagine if Rumsfeld had said:
Well, since we’re gonna go git Saddam we’re gonna have to ignore Afghanistan, so that means that place will get worse while we’re playing war in Iraq. And of course, once we topple the dictator, we’ll have eliminated the tactical counterweight to Iran, so Iran is gonna start flexing its muscles to be the regional power down there. Meanwhile, we don’t expect Pakistan to hold up its end and aside from Hamas and Hezbollah on the other side of town, don’t expect any progress between Israel and the Palestinians. Oh, and our borders? They’ll pretty stay the same, which is to say, they’ll stay porous.
Oh, and our little adventure in Iraq is probably gonna cost not $60 billion but a trillion bucks when it’s all said and done. So that means we’ll have to raise taxes… we figure, about a thousand bucks per household every year for the next 10. You don’t want a deficit, do ya?
So, with all of that on the table, who still wants to go to Iraq?
Maybe if Rumsfeld had said that, we might’ve thought twice about beating the drum for war.
Yes, we love our fake “support the troops” mentality. The “eliminate the draft” Ponzi scheme fostered on a society totally opposed to the Vietnam War is paying great dividend to the war pigs who use it to wage illegal and immoral wars today. That and the “we won’t raise taxes to pay for the war” mentality. How crazy and destructive is that?
Neither party wants to remind the voters that they almost universally supported getting into this mess. The Republicans to reward their wealthy friends, defense contractors, oil barons, and contributors, the Democrats because in their usual craven way were scared $hitless the righties would call them unpatriotic.
Now that the economy has tanked, the average voter who supported this mess and engaged in an orgy of flag waving, patriotic slogan-shouting and yellow-ribbon tying wants nothing more than to crawl under a rock when their involvement in supporting the war is mentioned. Congratulations, taxpayers. duped again.