Afghanistan – October 2013

Afghanistan – October 2013

Qayyum Karzai: I will be the calmer Karzai if I become Afghan President
Elder brother of Afghanistan’s president, Qayyum, himself a contender in next year’s election, pledges to end antagonistic relationships with the West

Leaving Afghanistan: Not With a Bang, But a Whimper
Stephen M. Walt
October 28, 2013

As in Iraq, Completely Withdraw US Forces from Afghanistan
by Ivan Eland, October 23, 2013

Lastly, proponents of retaining US forces say that if all US forces are removed from Afghanistan, Congress will be far less likely to keep providing the $4 to $6 billion per year needed to prop the rickety Afghan security forces, which have already proven a sinkhole for $40 billion in wasted US aid. (In Vietnam War, the Congress cut off US aid to the South Vietnamese government after US forces withdrew.) Yet saving this ineffectual expenditure would not be a bad outcome.

US commanders have maintained that Afghan forces have held their own against the Taliban, even though they took heavy casualties. But in guerrilla warfare, if the insurgents are not losing they are winning by just keeping an army in the field, and the rebels will likely do much better when the Americans leave, even according to US government officials.

So the United States should use any Afghan claims of sovereignty in the negotiation over any remaining US military presence to simply walk away with its troops and cash, thus cutting its losses and ending a quagmire that was lost long ago.

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