Considering future troop levels in Afghanistan, what would be an acceptable decision by Obama, expected sometime in November?
We know that General McChrystal wants 60-80,000 troops which, with their associated ‘contract’ soldiers and NATO troops could push the full compliment in Afghanistan well past 200,000. But is that warranted?
Initially, the targeted enemy in Afghanistan was the ill-defined al qaeda which, apparently, master-minded the 9/11 travesty. But even then, did a small rag-tag band of Arabs pissed at a US foreign policy that always favours (irrationally) the Israelis over the Palestinians warrant a full-out invasion and war? Ah, maybe not.
At the time, there were probably never more than a few hundred al qaeda in Afghanistan (or anywhere else). Now there are supposed to be less than 100 al qaeda and many of those are in Pakistan. So who or what in Afghanistan is the enemy that requires a force of 200,000 military troops?
The Taliban? Well, maybe, but what have the Taliban done to threaten the US? Nothing. Weren’t they US allies in buggering about with the Russians when the Russians were attempting to shackle Afghanistan? What has changed? To the Taliban not much except it is now the Americans not the Russians who are occupying their country.
And what about the Karzai government? Is it worth defending? Hardly. By all reports is it a corrupt band of thugs running a kleptocracy that stole the vote in the recent election.
Defend the economy? Where there is one it’s based on the heroin poppy.
Women’s right? By all accounts women have it little better under Karzai than it did under the Taliban.
Rebuild the country? Nope. Constructive development money is a mere trickle compared to the deluge of cash to prosecute the war.
So what is an acceptable decision for future US troop levels in Afghanistan?
Hard to know until they’ve determined the enemy and right now there isn’t one … except the Military Industrial Complex which is continuing to screw over the US population with its trillion dollar budgets and ever more lethal toys.
Time for a change? Most of us would settle for simple sanity.