This post is about the future of US troops in the country…
Trump admin reached an agreement with the Taleban about the removal of US troops from the country…..but that may be put on hold with the new admin that wants to keep troops involved in the country for the present.
A new report that was ordered by the Trump admin tells a disturbing tale…..
When a report comes out of Washington that has been co-authored by a who’s who group of, among others, former Secretaries of Defense, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ambassadors, and U.S. Senators, it’s a good bet the results are solid. Unfortunately, in the case of the recently released Afghan Study Group’s report to Congress, this stable full of eminent members produced a policy paper that, if followed, would replicate the previous 20 years of costly, failed war – and cement that failure well into the future.
The congressionally mandated study group was formed in April 2020 with the charge to, “consider the implications of [President Trump’s February 2020] peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan” and then make policy recommendations for Congress and the new Administration.
That is an appropriate charter, and those areas of study are factors Congress and the White House need to consider. Regrettably, however, the commission was filled with many of the very architects of America’s failed Afghan policies of the past two decades.
Their “new” recommendations look disturbingly similar to the policies that produced so much failure over the past two decades. Fortunately, there are superior, logic-based alternatives available to the Biden Administration for implementation.
Biden will have a decision to finally make…..and there seems to be only three options for him….
According to a report from Vox, President Biden has been presented with three options for how to either end the war in Afghanistan or prolong it. The Biden administration is currently reviewing the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed last year, which set May 1st as a deadline for a US withdrawal.
The first option is for President Biden to adhere to the deadline and withdraw the remaining 2,500 troops from Afghanistan by May 1st. The second option is to seek an extension of the deadline through negotiations with the Taliban. The third option is to scrap the deal and remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.
The report said the Biden administration will likely choose option two, citing unnamed US officials and experts that spoke with Vox. But it’s not clear if the Taliban has any interest in negotiating a deadline extension, as the group has been appealing to the US to withdraw.
The idea of an extension is to remain in the country while the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government reach a deal to end fighting. But there’s no telling how long this could take or if an agreement could ever be reached.
Since the US-Taliban deal was signed, the Taliban has not attacked US or NATO forces, and no US troops died in combat in Afghanistan for an entire year, a first since the war started. But that will all change if the US stays in Afghanistan without the consent of the Taliban. It will mean an escalation of the almost 20-year war.
US officials also told Vox that the administration’s review of the US-Taliban deal is almost done, and an announcement is expected soon.
But the rhetoric says that the US is going to be in Afghanistan until the weapons makers find a backbone and put needs of country above profit…..and that will not happen in my lifetime.
In case you doubt my words…..
Earlier this month, a study group established by Congress recommended that President Joe Biden extend the May 1 deadline for withdrawing troops from America’s longest war. It’s a strategy that many experts say runs the risk of abrogating the U.S.-Taliban agreement and potentially setting back the potential peace process in Afghanistan — or even dooming it to failure.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a striking similarity in the backgrounds of the individuals involved in these critical recommendations, which are likely to influence whether Biden maintains a “conditions based” U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan. Two of the group’s three co-chairs and nine of the group’s 12 plenary members, comprised of what the group refers to as “members,” have current or recent financial ties to major defense contractors, an industry that soaks up more than half of the $740 billion defense budget, and stands to gain from protracted U.S. military involvement overseas.
There was more diversity in views and financial interests among the 26 “senior advisers” that the group consulted. At least three of these advisers have warned publicly that the suggested troop withdrawal extension may pose significant risks. But the study group’s plenary is deeply intertwined with the military industrial base, with nearly $4 million the group’s co-chairs and plenary have received in compensation for their work on the boards of defense contractors.
Oh goody! A multi-generational war!
We are looking at another 20 years of this conflict if things do not change…..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”