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The bad news is that Obama has thrust more Americans ever deeper into the vortex of his Afghanistan war. But the good news is that he flatly promised to “begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.” So, it’s a short term commitment, right?
Uh… not exactly. No sooner had he spoken than a covey of top officials rushed forth with a flurry of statements to “explain” what the President really meant. “We’re going to be in the region for a long time,” said Obama’s national security advisor, Gen. James Jones. “There isn’t a deadline,” deadpanned Pentagon Chief Robert Gates, who elaborated by saying that Obama’s pledge of a July 2011 withdrawal would merely involve “some handful” of troops, “some small number,” or as he eloquently concluded, “whatever.”
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Got that? Whatever.
In case you still don’t grasp that our 100,000 soldiers and untold billions of our dollars are going to be stuck in Afghan Hell for many many years (not months), heed the candid comments of Hamid Karzai, the corrupt Afghanistan president whom our troops have been sent to prop up. His estimate is that it will take a minimum of five years to recruit and train enough Afghan security forces to allow American troops to begin any substantial withdrawal. The cost to U.S. taxpayers for those five years of training: $50 billion.
But even that’s not the end of it. Afghanistan is impoverished, so we’ll have to keep financing their military. For how long? At least until 2024, says Karzai.
Afghanistan has become Absurdistan. Obama has tumbled into a Shakespearean level of folly – but Congress doesn’t have to let him take us there. Bring our troops home. Now. To help, call United for Peace and Justice (212) 868-5545 or visit their website at www.unitedforpeace.org.
“Officials Stress Afghan Pullout Could Be Long,” The New York Times, December 7, 2009.