As I dimly recall two years ago, new president Obama told the American people that US troops were coming home by 2011. Of course, the previous president had told us, “Mission Accomplished” in 2001, but that was long ago and a long time ago when some Americans actually believed leaders of their nation. NATO leaders are gathering for a summit meeting in Portugal and one of the points to be discussed is what to do about Afghanistan. Ah, good news, they have a PLAN. I realize some cynics can recall other PLANS, but let me assure one and all this is THE PLAN to end all PLANs. Here is the outline of the PLAN:
1. Phase one, US and NATO troops remain in place while Afghan troops are getting trained.
2.. Phase two: Afghan forces assume main responsibility for fighting while US and NATO mentor.
3. Phase three: US and NATO go further back away from the action, watch TV, and have a good time while Afghan troops are in charge.
4. In Phase four: Most US and NATO troops depart for colder climates leaving some logistic and training folk around.
As you can deduce from the above we are soon into “transition phase” and once in that mode, the Afghans begin to take charge.
Pardon me for not being overwhelmed. I am still lost at the point of “Mission Accomplished.” That sounded OK. I’m just wondering if Phase 4 comes ahead or after Phase 1?