All of the United States troops stationed in Afghanistan are supposed to return by the end of 2014, and troop reduction appears to be right on schedule with 34,000 troops scheduled to come home by early 2014. Reuters is reporting a senior Obama administration official to have said:
“President Obama will announce that 34,000 U.S. troops will return home from Afghanistan by this time next year, decreasing by half the number of U.S. forces serving in Afghanistan,” a senior administration official said.
“Further reductions will continue through the end of 2014 as Afghans take full responsibility for their security,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
It will be the latest step toward unwinding the U.S. involvement in the unpopular war in Afghanistan.
“Unpopular” is a kinder word than many would use, as one of the biggest issues supporters for Obama have faulted him on is the failure to end the war sooner, or to have begun to wind down involvement earlier. Well, that and civilian-killing drone strikes. The reason we’re still in Afghanistan is a sense of responsibility. We’re training their troops to continue the fight on their own (although many United States officials and NATO allies believe they aren’t ready); helping them build their nation. Nation-building played an important role in post-WWII, especially in Japan, but Afghanistan isn’t the same.
It isn’t the same because we aren’t at war with, and never were at war with, Afghanistan. We were/are at war with an emotion. “Terror.” And although our patriarchal society has been at war with that emotion for some time now (it’s okay, guys, let it out), it’s time for us to realize that a “prolonged military engagement” with no real goals probably wasn’t something we could win in the first place. Afghanistan’s terrain is very advantageous to those insurgents continuing to fight a guerrilla war, and when they are killed by us it wins sympathizers to their cause.
It’s time for us to leave, and stop the pointless deaths of American soldiers.
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