Who is Todd? Don't know, but if this sign were posted in Afghanistan, he would potentially be getting a phone call very soon. It seems that the "war" in Afghanistan is stealing some of the attention away from the health care debate and threatening to take center stage in the theater of politics. There's been a drop in support for it and now the politicians are taking sides and arguing if we should stay or go and when and what we do about it and a whole bunch of other shit that, let's be honest, all of us are thankful isn't our responsibility. We haven't even gotten all the way out of Iraq yet and we could be looking at another withdrawal. Don't even want to think about the logistics.
Like Iraq, Afghanistan has gone on for a very long time and hasn't yielded particularly exciting results since the initial ousting of the Taliban. Unlike Iraq, there was an actual reason for us to go to Afghanistan and the people there in large part want us to stay. There were a lot of factors that lead to us leaving Iraq which included the general feeling of our not being wanted around by the local population and the general feeling in the States that we had no business being there. With Afghanistan, the situation is more complicated.
Presidential Adviser James Jones has said today that he doesn't believe there is any immediate danger that Afghanistan would fall back to the Taliban if we left. There are many on the conservative side that disagree with him. I think this is really what its going to boil down to. Troop numbers are important and so is money spent, but in my mind the deciding factor is going to be how stable the nation will be when we leave. Considering the first elected leader is suspected of having cheated to win, I have to say I'm not feeling too comfortable.
But maybe the decision shouldn't rest on that. I'm starting to wonder at what point our own nation's problems trump that of another. I don't think we're there yet but how far off is it, really? At what point do you assume the worst possible outcome, assess the potential damage, and decide that that is acceptable? That's not a rhetorical question, I'd love to hear the responses of commentors from all places on the political spectrum.
My personal opinion is that, assuming the worst case scenario is basically that the current government is corrupt but it remains in power and stays allied with us and fends off the Taliban, then maybe its time to chalk this one up in the win column and get the hell out of dodge, with the caveat that a small force hangs around to help them build a counter-terrorism network. In general, this is how I feel they stand right now, so I'm leaning towards supporting withdrawal in the near future. I eagerly await supporting information as well as counter-arguments.
Sphere: Related Content