Last night, while I was in the shower (thank God!), Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten finally announced his Afghanistan policy (sort of). Fortunately he did not adopt Bannon’s plan to give the war to Erik Prince, former CEO of Blackwater, the GOP SS. Bannon wanted to privatize the war for $30 billion a year, before cost overruns. Unfortunately, Trump appears to be letting McMasters call the shots. To a general, the universal solutions to all problems are troops and more troops. It has been a no-win war for years.
On Monday night, President Trump did what the last two presidents before him did: he doubled down on the war in Afghanistan. Unlike Obama, however, Trump offered no timeline for withdrawal.
“Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on,” he told the nation.
There are currently 9,800 troops serving in Afghanistan. We don’t know how many more Trump is sending. We don’t know how long they’ll be there. And we don’t know what victory even means at this point.
To get a sense of where we are in Afghanistan, I reached out Laurel Miller, who until very recently was America’s leading diplomat in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She led the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan for roughly four years. After her office was abruptly closed by the State Department in July, she returned to her previous position as an analyst at the RAND Corporation.
I asked her straightforwardly if there’s a path to victory in Afghanistan and, if not, why US troops are still fighting and dying there. I also asked her how she thinks this conflict will end. While she’s unsure about the latter question, her answer to the first was one was crystal clear.
“Military victory is not plausible in any foreseeable time frame,” she told me, “and what we’re doing now isn’t sustainable.”… [emphasis added]
Click through to read their complete conversation.
Now trump did say that, when out troops open their hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate. In a nutshell, that means that all are welcome to be cannon fodder, but when it comes to getting benefits afterward, and especially when it comes to voting while black or brown, that’s a different thing altogether.
Lawrence O’Donnell discussed it.
Withdrawing takes time. These were my words over six years ago.
GW ChickenHawk got the US into Afghanistan under the pretense of counter-terrorism. He did not tell us that his true intent was to wrest control of gas in the Stans … from Russia, by building a pipeline through Afghanistan to Karachi. He installed a Unocal employee as puppet President and committed the US to a war of nation building. Because that puppet, Hamid Karzai is so corrupt, that war is doomed to fail and Obama has been wrong to continue it…
…Realistically logistics dictate that if we start withdrawing troops now, bringing them and their equipment home will take between one and two years. The time to start is now.
Afghanistan’s present government is just as corrupt. My opinion is unchanged.