Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Time For An Exit Strategy?

No one has been more supportive of our military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, than I have been. I have always been of the belief that while boots are on the ground, I do not get involved in petty criticism and the rush to call for an end to operations that we have committed to.

But there are some exceptions, and this post is one of them.

From USA Today comes this story:

U.S. officials are expressing puzzlement and dismay over the latest remarks by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, including his reported threat to join the Taliban if foreigners don't stop meddling in Afghanistan.

In light of Karzai's "troubling" and "confusing" remarks, the White House is debating whether it's "constructive" to go on with a planned meeting between President Obama and the Afghan president next month, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

This isn't the first incident with the Afghan President. He has been blaming the US for his problems for awhile now.

Some are even suggesting that he may have a substance abuse problem.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai's "mental stability" is in doubt and he may even be taking illegal drugs, a former top UN envoy to the war-torn country told MSNBC television.

"He's prone to tirades. He can be very emotional, act impulsively. In fact, some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan's most profitable exports," Peter Galbraith told the US network.

Here's a thought worth exploring and then I am going to stop.

Someone from the State Department needs to tell him privately to shut the hell up now, or we will pack up our gear and leave the hellhole and be prepared to do it. If that happens, he will be left to the mercy of those who will certainly reassert their control over dilapidated nation that produces nothing of any value, except for the production of illegal drugs.

Personally, I am tired of our brave men and women putting their lives on the line to prop up a corrupt jerk who is trying to exacerbate the already fervent anti-American feelings that permeate the place. This is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and clearly demonstrates these people do not appreciate the price that has been paid for their liberation form an oppressive regime.


Chuck said...

LA, I agree with you. Let them go on without us. Let him join the Taliban and see if he gets a better deal from them. We accomplished what we needed long ago. Leave and tell them if there is any new terrorism from them, we will be back.

Anonymous said...

Karzai is a politician, and judging from the fact that he is 52-years old, an astute politician. What this means is that he speaks to a particular audience. In this case, it is the Afghan people. Remember that Karzai is not the president of a country. Afghanistan is not a country. It is a place. Karzai is the president of a city. He has no power outside that city except that accorded to him by the American military. If we leave, either he will be in exile within thirty days, or he will be dead.

But Karzai is right about one thing; we started with Afghanistan and then abandoned it for Iraq. It was not a very smart move on our part, but then no one ever accused the American state department as being competent. If deepest, darkest Africa is a fourth-world cesspool, then Afghanistan is a fifth world sewer. My friend Tad and I disagree about Afghanistan. He argues we can —we must win there. I submit, “Win what?”

Afghanistan is a classic case of a nation in need of building; it is impossible to screw it up because anything we do will be an improvement. But we must wonder who ends up paying for ‘improved infrastructure’, and we must wonder how Afghanistan will protect that which we constructed for them. How can we erect an economic structure that is not associated with heroin? I submit to you … we cannot. I said this long ago. And so now, after too many good young Americans have died in that crap hole, it is long past time to withdraw. It is not a question of killing Afghans; it is rather an issue of forcing civilization upon a people who do not deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Sunset Maligned yet again. When will it stop?


Greg said...

If we withdraw, al Qaeda will set up camp again, and we'll have another 9/11 or worse. Pretty simple.

Karzai sucks, but he's still on our side for now. If he switches sides, he's dead meat, and we'll deal with the next corrupt asshole. Just because our choices in A-stan are "shitty" or "shittier" doesn't mean we have to throw up our hands and give up.

A.C. McCloud said...

If Afghan is not worth fighting for now why would it have been worth keeping troops in place in the mid 2000s when the enemy had fled across the border to a place we couldn't go? If the goal is to get out we could never leave with them lurking across the border. Drawing them back, and the battles fought in Swat have persuaded most voters in Pakistan to reject the Islamists.

But OK, maybe there's no 'win' by staying--it's been troubling to me for a while too-- but there's certainly a big 'lose' by leaving. If we could find a way to dull that loss I'd be in favor of leaving, too, but I'm afraid the strong horse/weak horse scenario would end up being a recruiting tool for AQ again, and this time even worse than before.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm all for pulling out of Afghanistan now. I don't care if someone calls it "losing"...I'd rather not see one more of our young soldiers die for that corrupt government. We can't and should not stay there indefinitely. Enough is enough. Time to pack it up and let them take care of their own mess. And I don't believe that if we pull out our troops that we will be any more or less safe than we are now. If they want to attack us, they can do it, regardless if our troops are there or not.

LASunsett said...

A wide range of good comments on this subject have been registered. I'd love to address all of them individually, but that pesky time factor thing has roared its ugly head again.

Meanwhile, here is a question to ponder:

If this is a lose/lose situation, is it better to lose with our troops in a meat grinder while the President of Kabul continues to subvert our cause (with no apparent end in sight)? Or is it more prudent to bring them home to fight another day, if it becomes necessary?

Z said...

I say bring them home and put them at airports and the border and make sure whatever training camps over there are flourishing don't have an impact on us.

I blogged on this a while back, much as I was all for our going in, I'm thinking we need to start protecting ourselves better and getting our soldiers where they need to be, too.