With plans for both its options for orderly disengagement from Afghanistan upended this week by a staff sergeant's massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, the Obama administration urgently needs to alter the equation.
President Obama is surely negotiating U.S. troop withdrawal carefully so as to keep U.S. soldiers from facing unnecessary risks. He should take the same care with the lives of Afghans.
What happens next is up to the Afghan people, not us. The country's president has asked us to leave. If he doesn't want us there, we shouldn't be there. In fact, we should beat Karzai's timetable and get most of our troops out of Afghanistan as soon as is safe and practical.
President Obama has a lot of issues to weigh with regards to Afghanistan, but I really hope he sides with the American troops on the ground. They're now being asked by our government to provide security to a population in a mission that is no longer wanted by the democratically elected leader of that country, making their current mission untenable and unproductive. Therefore, the only conclusion he can come to is to engage U.S. forces in a mission that can be successful. And that is an immediate transition to an Advise, Train, and Assist role, on the way towards a negotiated counter-terror mission with a very limited footprint.
Admit that Afghanistan cannot be reduced to a desperate confrontation between the Taliban and Karzai's regime. The democratic opposition to both of them -- Abdullah Abdullah -- who, during the blatantly fraudulent elections of 2009, managed nonetheless to garner over 30% of the ballots cast.
The counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan has failed, and it is time for President Obama to abandon it. In the wake of the horrific incident where a US soldier killed 16 innocent Afghans, and just weeks after American Marines were caught on tape desecrating the body of a dead enemy, and a pile of Korans were burned, that much is clear. It is time to employ a mission in Afghanistan that actually works, and leave a residual force in the region that focuses on destroying real threats to America. The sooner President Obama announces that, the better off our military and America will be.
Presidential politics has gone kaleidoscopic. Between Mitt Romney's split decision on a not so Super Tuesday for him and the big geopolitically-driven crises President Barack Obama has to manage, it's easy to get lost in the weeds. Here's a view of the forest.
"Protecting women's rights, and protecting women from violence is not an isolated issue from the larger violence that is happening in the country. Violence simply starts with women but never stops with them."
Afghans and their neighbors are preparing for a post-American Afghanistan and Washington's influence, no matter what U.S. officials assert, is diminishing rapidly. This may be the only issue on which everyone in Afghanistan and its rivalry-ridden region can agree.
Violence against NATO troops by Afghan security forces in reponse to burning of the Quran at the Bagram Air Base has reignited doubts over the U.S. endgame in Afghanistan.
The peculiar U.S. political debate this past week -- focused on an apology for an inexcusable blunder, rather than on the long-term viability of prosecuting the war -- can only be described as surreal.
If Eisenhower could accept a stalemate in Korea and Nixon could sign a deal with Vietnam that allowed American forces to extricate themselves, Obama can move the troops out of Afghanistan much faster than on the timeline of December 2014.
This past Saturday, American troops delivered 1,000 blankets for the 6,000 refugees in the Kabul Charahi Qambar camp -- the same camp where several children have already died from the cold.
"Western soldiers will no longer be dying on a daily basis and, frankly, who will care any more about the deaths of Afghans after 2014? Can we honestly believe that, in this likely scenario, combating the abuse of poor children will be a priority?"
Over the last several months, at great risk to his career and personal life, LTC Davis has documented the deliberate misleading of the American people and Congress by the leaders of the Department of Defense. He has done his nation and the U.S. Army a tremendous service.
You may call me a flip-flopper, but after supporting our efforts in Afghanistan for so many years, and in view of recent developments, I now have some serious concerns about that war.