Thursday, October 15, 2015

President Obama abandons plan to remove all troops from Afghanistan, will leave 5,500 in place at end of term.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

The United States will halt its military withdrawal from Afghanistan and instead keep thousands of troops in the country through the end of President Obama’s term in 2017, Mr. Obama announced on Thursday, prolonging the American role in a war that has now stretched on for 14 years. 

The current American force in Afghanistan of 9,800 troops will remain in place through most of 2016 under the Obama administration’s revised plans, before dropping to about 5,500 at the end of next year or in early 2017, Mr. Obama said. 

Some of the troops will continue to train and advise Afghan forces, while others will carry on the search for Qaeda fighters and militants from the Islamic State and other groups who have found a haven in Afghanistan, he said. 

In abandoning his ambition to bring home almost all American troops before leaving office, Mr. Obama appears to be acknowledging that Afghan security forces are still not near ready to hold off the Taliban on their own.

So we remain the occupying force that Donald Rumsfeld swore we would never be. 

As much as this upsets me it is pretty clear that considering what happened in Iraq after the withdrawal of American forces that the President does not feel he has much of a choice.

Of course it seems obvious that expecting the situation to improve enough someday to justify complete troop withdrawal now seems like a pipe dream. At some point whoever is in charge (Hi Hillary!) is simply going to have to say "fuck it" and bring the troops home knowing that everything is going to go to hell when they leave. 

But until that happens America continues to be trapped in an endless war, with no end in sight.

Lucky us.


  1. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Meanwhile, W paints...

    1. Anonymous1:02 PM

      Dubya: "What ME worry?"

    2. Anonymous1:18 PM

      'Look, mommy! Look what I drawed today!"

  2. Anonymous12:12 PM

    It just must kill him having to do this! He looks exhausted! War is so anti the very core of his body.

    Now, what negative input will the Republicans have to say about this change? Especially asshole John McCain! They who want war and nothing but war! I detest our having a place in the middle east mess!

  3. Anonymous12:50 PM

    W, the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks a lot you ignorant prick.

    1. Anonymous1:22 PM

      Every time I see a wounded veteran or talk to one, who carries the scars internally, a rage overtakes me. How does he, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, live with themselves? The horror the created is mind boggling and we are going to be dealing with the fallout for generations.
      Prick indeed!

  4. slipstream1:24 PM

    The category is "things easy to get into, but very difficult to get out of."

    Bear traps.
    Viet Nam.

    Let's think about that category for a while.

    And the next time some asshat politician suggests we go to war -- maybe Syria -- let's toss him into a bear trap so that he can appreciate the nature of "easy to get in, hard to get out" interference in other nation's wars.

    And then just walk away and leave him to struggle.

  5. Anonymous2:05 PM


    Hillary is looking at Julian as VP potential.

    1. Anonymous3:24 PM

      Not that I would vote for that ticket solely because of it, but a female POTUS and a latino VPOTUS would be amazing!!

  6. The picture says it all. No matter how much optimism any individual goes into this office with, its toll shows on him soon enough, especially a two-termer.

    It's why the ages of the hopeful crop do trouble me. Trump, though no chance of winning, doesn't know what he's biting off, but the others maybe do. Though I've said I'd love to see Hillary put Obama on the court, by January 2017, if all he wants the rest of his life is to laze in a hammock, I could scarcely blame him.

  7. Are Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney spending much time in V.A. hospitals telling the wounded how their sacrifice has kept
    America free? My guess is no.

    Those pricks can take a lot of credit for our failures in
    the Middle East. I'll even through Obama under the bus for good measure.

    The real problem is a decades long foreign policy that is naive, arrogant, and ignorant of history. We learn nothing and forge ahead with what we've always done--spend a lot, kill a lot, and then end up scratching our heads wondering why nothing ever seems to work. Why can't we bomb and invade our way into countries that will want what we have and be who we are? Why doesn't that work for us.


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