How Long For Afghanistan?

In the fall of 2001, American troops swept through Afghanistan, and wiped out its Taliban government to shouts by the Republican administration that all the bad guys in that nation were gone and democracy would now flourish. In 2003, President Bush proclaimed, Mission Accomplished in Iraq, but, for some reason that message never got delivered to al-Qaeda. Several months ago, President Obama, filled with pride, announced a new surge which would take care of the Taliban and establish an honest government in Kabul. Unfortunately, the promise was more bull than Kabul. Each day reveals more deaths, more wounded, and more Taliban. The Taliban are still around Kandahar, they move in and out of Kabul, and they kill with impunity. Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says “we all have angst” about the course of the war which is not adhering to “the timetable.”

Former Pentagon analyst, Anthony Cordesman recently wrote, “Two critical questions dominate any realistic discussions of the conflict. the first is whether the war is worth fighting. The second is whether it can be won. The answers to both are uncertain.” But, there is a timetable calling for withdrawal of US troops to begin next year as “trained Afghan soldiers” take over. The only “trained Afghan soldiers” belong to corrupt tribal chieftains who want money and power more than creating a democratic society. About 1,800 Polish troops will be soon leaving and 2,000 Canadians are ready to depart next year. Are these signs that something in blowing in an ill wind of despair?