We shortly will be entering the tenth year of fighting in Afghanistan. For those who forgot fall of 2001, President Bush assured the nation fighting was over, the Taliban had been routed and the Afghan people would shortly be living in a democratic nation. Ah, dreams of yore, the enemy was defeated and our troops would shortly be home. Ryan Crocker, new US Ambassador to Afghanistan assured its president that America would not cut and run, but its troops would still be around in the coming years. On one hand, President Obama assures the American people that our troops will shortly be home, but our ambassador assures the president of Afghanistan that our troops will not be coming home. As he noted, “we must proceed carefully. There will be no rush for the exists.” After ten years, it is not exactly rushing for the exists to leave.
Crocker made several interesting points. “Beyond 2014–even when Afghans have transitioned to a full security lead–I’m confident that we and the international community will be in a position to work with Afghanistan to prevent any forcible return of the Taliban to power.” Well stated. BUT, the only way to prevent the Taliban from regaining power is the presence of an honest, efficient, and democratic government in power. Alas, there is no sign of that possibility.