After announcing Friday we are leaving Iraq by the holiday Obama ought to go the extra mile and begin the withdraw from Afghanistan. We’ve done what we set out to do. We crushed the Taliban and hunted down Al Qaeda. We’ve disrupted their center of gravity and killed/captured those responsible for planning 9/11. We deposed Saddam and have made the country “safe for democracy.” To put it another way, we’ve gone into two different country for almost 10 years. We’ve killed people and broken things. In the country that had a semblance of a modern nation (Iraq) prior to our invasion we’ve restored it and set them on the path. It is appropriate and fitting to leave. Sure we could stick around to “advise” and help maintain security or to aid in the event of an Iranian invasion, but it is time for our large scale presence to leave.
On the other hand we have accomplished much of what we intended in Afghanistan. We killed bin Laden. We captured SKM, we overthrew the Taliban and killed thousands of Al Qaeda. In the process we’ve dispersed and chased our terrorist enemies to other lands, primarily in Africa. (Simply relocating the problem in my opinion) Yet, we remain in Afghanistan in an effort to rebuild the country and help them create a stable nation-state, preferably with a democracy. We have built schools, hospitals, infrastructure and public works. All in an effort to help them create a stable country, with a working economy. We have trained and equipped their armed forces, hoping the Afghanis could provide their own defense and would step in to prevent further terrorists cells.
Now tonight we hear from Karzai that he would support Pakistan in a war against the US. I know this is not a likely scenario, but the thought is still there. We have spent billions, exspended our most precious national resource on defeating an evil regime and then taken the time to attempt to create stability, only to be slapped in the face by Karzai. His country was rule by the Taliban and we liberated it. His people we terrorized by the now defunct Al Qaeda, yet he would support Pakistan over the US. Pakistan clearly supports terrorists of the worst kind. They sheltered bin Laden, forcing a covert strike by the United States. Now the Afghanis claim they would use the very military hardware and training we gave them against us? What are we thinking? Karzai needs to either shut his mouth or we need to withdraw. Clearly they have no qualms about using our aid an tech against us, so why continue to give it to them? We have no exit strategy or even a grand strategy. We’ve accomplished our goal to avenge 9/11, let’s bail and leave them to their own means. Let them stand alone.