The Obama administration has developed a plan to end the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan by 2014.
According to the NY Times, the four-year strategy, which is by far the most substantial yet outlined by the administration, will be presented at a NATO summit later this week.
The plan hinges on the smooth transfer of power to Afghanistan security forces, which will begin over the next year and a half as the military identifies areas as ready for transition. American officials looked to the close of combat operations in Iraq as a guide, though officials emphasized that building up a capable Afghan force was a prerequisite to the pull back of American troops.
Some Republicans disapprove of the strategy. “You don’t fight and conduct wars that way,” said Sen John McCain on NBC’s Meet the Press. “You win, and then you leave. And that’s what we’ve done in Iraq.” Afghan President Hamid Karzai, however, has repeatedly expressed his desire that American troops should reduce their presence in the country. On Sunday, Karzai made clear in an interview with the Washington Post that he wanted fewer American “boots in Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, latest McClatchy’s investigative series continues to uncover the rampant “corruption, nepotism and mismanagement that pervades Hamid Karzai’s government, hobble the U-S effort to rebuild Afghanistan, and fuel the Taliban-led insurgency.” Insiders tell how Karzai’s brother and close relatives used boxes of cash to acquire critical infrastructural businesses like mines and a cement factory where workers toil under slave labor conditions and where the owners can reneg on commitments and violate regulations because of poorly written lease agreements. How’d that happen? Government connections. At the end of the day, “the U-S-backed privatization of state enterprises was steering state assets to the friends and relatives of top officials.”
We won in Iraq? What did we win? And at what cost? Or is McCain daft?
You can’t help but wonder if the reason we’re staying in Afghanistan is because some very powerful interests in the United States benefit from our presence there –military contractors, perhaps.
We should get out. Now. If the greatest military might on the face of the earth can’t bring a bunch of illiterate farmers (wearing flip flops for shoes and turbans for helmets) to their knees in eight years (and counting) it’s time to leave.
America: Bringing Peace and Democracy through war to a country near you, whether they want it or not. Isn’t that basically the definition of a dictatorship? Or terrorist?
ter’ror-ism n. violence committed to achieve a political end — ter’ror-ist n. — ter’ror-is’tic adj (The New International Webster’s Pocket Dictionary of the English Language)
This war and the one in Iraq says more about us than it does about Afghanistan. Maybe it’s about time we start realizing what we are becoming, and why people hate us. Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and don’t get into any other wars without a damn good reason. Haven’t we wasted enough money and human lives in other parts of the world when we could have been doing things to improve our lot here at home? Apparently we have no problem building roads and schools in other countries while we let our infrastructure crumble and debate cutting education here at home.