Thu Aug 30, 2012, 12:20 PM
bemildred (90,053 posts)
How quickly will the US leave Afghanistan?
In the wake of several deaths among its contingent of troops in a previously peaceful province in Afghanistan, New Zealand (like France and South Korea) is now expediting the departure of its 140 soldiers.
That's not exactly headline-making news here in the US. If you're an American, you probably didn't even know that New Zealand was playing a small part in our Afghan War. In fact, you may hardly have known about the part Americans are playing in a conflict that, over the last decade-plus, has repeatedly been labeled "the forgotten war."
Still, maybe it's time to take notice. Maybe the flight of those Kiwis should be thought of as a small omen, even if they are departing as decorously, quietly, and flightlessly as possible. Because here's the thing: once the November election is over, "expedited departure" could well become an American term and the US, as it slips ignominiously out of Afghanistan, could turn out to be the New Zealand of superpowers.
You undoubtedly know the phrase: the best laid plans of mice and men. It couldn't be more apt when it comes to the American project in Afghanistan. Washington's plans have indeed been carefully drawn up. By the end of 2014, US "combat troops" are to be withdrawn, but left behind on the giant bases the Pentagon has built will be thousands of US trainers and advisers, as well as special operations forces to go after al-Qaeda remnants (and other "militants"), and undoubtedly the air power to back them all up.
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How quickly will the US leave Afghanistan? (Original post)
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