Let me start by saying that there is lots about Trump’s presidency that I do not now or would ever support….however his decision on the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is a positive aspect of his rule.
And now he, Trump, has threatened to bring troops home from Germany and some are going bonkers at the thought of no troops in Germany…..but I do believe that he deserves recognition for attempting to fulfill a campaign promise……
This week, President Trump called for a modest reduction of American troops in Germany, reducing them from 34,500 to 25,000 (a great start that will hopefully lead to further reductions there). The Republican neocon caucus responded exactly as you would expect. You’d think the Berlin Wall was still in place and two million Russians were about to invade Germany. Utter nonsense.
With the Cold War now 30 years moribund, the hysteria over removing troops is ludicrous. Meanwhile the very real threat of bankruptcy and menacing debt grows each day. Just this year, the United States will add $4 trillion to the national debt. Can the Germans afford to defend themselves? Without question. Germany actually balances its annual budget every year.
In Afghanistan the question has been asked…..will we ever get to zero troops deployed in Afghanistan?
This is the agreement between the US and whoever it is we were negotiating with at the time…..
Now a few thoughts on this question…..
The agreement itself suggests that it will not. To understand why requires examining the agreement in a bit more detail. The text of the document contains three main parts. In the first part, the United States agreed to a number of terms. Chief among these is to draw down its military forces to a total of 8,600 troops within 135 days (which has nearly happened) and, subject to the Taliban meeting its obligations, to withdraw all of its remaining forces within another nine and a half months. Washington also agreed to facilitate a prisoner exchange between the Afghan government and the Taliban (which has been happening, albeit slowly). In the second part, the Taliban agreed not to allow any of its members or other groups—explicitly including al-Qaeda—to use Afghanistan to threaten U.S. security or for recruiting, training and fundraising activities designed to do so. The third part of the agreement includes a requirement for the United States to seek endorsement from the United Nations for the deal, which Washington has already done. And it includes these two sentences:
I agree…we have way too much invested in Afghanistan to leave it completely….but I have been mistaken in the past and hopefully I am once again.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”