FOREVER WAR: Obama To Leave 9,800 Troops in Afghanistan Past 2014.


In a move that should surprise absolutely nobody, President Obama declared his intent to leave nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014 as part of an ostensible draw-down leading up to a full withdrawal by 2016.

As Fox News reports:

“This year, we will bring America’s longest war to a responsible end,” Obama said, in remarks from the Rose Garden.

The long-anticipated withdrawal plan is largely in line with what military commanders have been seeking and would allow the president to fully end the American-led military effort by the time he leaves office.

The plan would shrink the U.S. troop presence from its current force of 32,000 to 9,800 by the start of next year, and to roughly half that size by the end of 2015. Nearly all those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term.

“It’s time to turn the page,” Obama said. If the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan indeed lasts through 2016, that would bring the length of the U.S. engagement in Afghanistan to 15 years. Afghanistan is already the longest U.S. war.

What a surprise. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been extended yet again. I recall a certain Barack Hussein Obama back in 2008/2009 promising to complete a full withdrawal by 2012. When 2011 was nearing its close, suddenly the withdrawal date became 2014. And now here we are, nearly halfway through 2014, and he says that he will leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan past 2014, and apparently at least some troops even past 2016, which is the end of his term.

The United States military has spent 14 years fighting in Afghanistan. What do we have to show for it? Graves and heartbroken family members. It has been a huge waste of time and money (except for Defense Contractors, who have made a fortune). It has been a tragic waste of life. How many more dead bodies, mutilated amputees, and brains permanently scrambled from combat do we need?

The current government of Afghanistan is a wildly corrupt and inept bureaucratic monster that will collapse as soon as the US leaves. The Taliban is sitting on the border of Pakistan, waiting to make its full return. Nothing good has been accomplished. It has been one huge farce from start to finish. Not even the assassination of Bin Laden can be touted as a success of the Afghan War; he was in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. I’m sure he’d been hiding there for years.

You’d think history might’ve taught American politicians and military leaders a lesson. Alexander the Great couldn’t take Afghanistan; Great Britain couldn’t take Afghanistan; the Soviet Union couldn’t take Afghanistan. In each case, the invading force was better-trained, better-funded, better-equipped, and larger than the defending Afghans… and every time, the Afghans have whooped the invader’s butts. The US invasion has not been any different, in the sense that the Afghan insurgency is still far from contained. The establishment Taliban may be down and out, but the guerrilla fighters in the hills are anything but defeated. They merely bide their time and make small strikes where possible.

Why has the US been unable to bring Afghanistan under control? I don’t pretend to be a master of military strategy, but the answer seems obvious to me: a combination of inexpensive weapons, guerilla tactics, and the will to resist can overcome even the most advanced armies. “We’ve got the watches, they’ve got the time.” The US military cannot win 4th generation guerrilla warfare. This is not something specific to the US, but to conventional armies in general. We already saw the proof of this in Vietnam. I’m not sure why American leaders thought it would be any different this time.

Obama, the winner of a friggin’ peace prize, has extended a destructive and worthless war for at least 8 years longer than it should have gone on. By the looks of it, the war will even continue past his 8 years in office. What a sham. All along, Obama has claimed that “we can’t just leave.” I disagree. I think Ron Paul said it best: “We marched right in, and we can march right out.”  The time to march out was many, many years ago.

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