Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Washington Post All Wrong on Afghanistan

Much of the time I agree with the Washington Post's editorial board on an range of issues, but today's column sniping at the Obama administration's plans for troop withdrawals suggests that the editorial board must have been drinking large quantities of far right Kool-Aid.  Ditto for the Obama administration when it comes down to it.  Both views describe a desired kind of Afghanistan that has never existed throughout thousands of years of history, but at least the Obama troop withdrawals will lessen the squandering of young American lives in a country that sadly has always been a rat hole and likely always will be thanks to the backwardness of the nation's predominant religion and the endemic corruption that dates back almost 2,400 years.  "A stable, sovereign Afghanistan that is a responsible international actor" is nothing more than a pipe dream and if Obama were honest, he would admit that the last 12 years have been a fool's errand brought on by two men, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who ought to be standing trial for war crimes.  Here's a sampling of the Posts idiotic whining:

IN DESCRIBING the U.S. mission in Afghanistan after meeting President Hamid Karzai last week, President Obama said that “it was in our national security interest to have a stable, sovereign Afghanistan that was a responsible international actor, that was in partnership with us, that . . . [had] its own security capacity and [was] on a path that was more likely to achieve prosperity and peace for its own people.” What he didn’t say was that his administration is well on its way to abandoning that interest.

To preserve a stable Afghanistan after 2014, the United States and its allies would have to leave behind sufficient forces to enable the Afghan army — which currently boasts only one brigade able to act independently — to operate effectively enough to prevent the Taliban from retaking the southern and eastern territories it has been driven out of since 2009. Such a resurgence would likely plunge the country back into the civil war that raged during the 1990s and allowed al-Qaeda to create a haven.

Just eight months ago, U.S. and NATO military officials were anticipating that it would take an international force of around 30,000 soldiers, including 20,000 Americans, to accomplish that mission while also continuing to train the Afghan forces and carrying out counterterrorism missions against al-Qaeda. Since then, however, the White House has quietly changed course, overruling the generals and insisting that plans be drawn up for a far smaller contingent. Mr. Obama’s civilian aides are reported to be pushing for 3,000 or less; last week, a National Security Council spokesman told reporters a “zero option” would also be considered.

[W]ithout U.S. support Afghan forces would almost certainly lose substantial ground to the Taliban — losses that U.S. policy would essentially concede. 

But Mr. Obama has not been clear. Though he appears to be considering options for a future U.S. presence that would make meaningful training and assistance to Afghan forces impossible, he has not stated, much less justified, an intention to abandon that mission.

One can only assume the editorial board is listening to the lies of the military leadership which will never ever concede the reality that more men, more time, and more squander treasure and lives will not make a damn bit of difference in Afghanistan.  I would also like to know if anyone on the editorial board has family members serving in Afghanistan - I suspect not.  Obama's biggest mistake has been to fail to exit from Afghanistan much earlier and concede that that nation is a snake pit of corruption and extremism that cannot be redeemed with American blood and money.  Just image if the billions of dollars squandered in Afghanistan had been invested in America instead.  And imagine if we had not sacrificed thousands of troops for absolutely nothing.

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