Back in 2001 when we went into Afghanistan, it was for a noble cause. We were attacked as a country and lost thousands of our citizens because Afghanistan allowed the terrorist to train and thrive there. After we eliminated the enemy we began the process of rebuilding the country. It has been decimated starting with the Soviet occupation and then after that as the Taliban took control.
From 2001-2012 we have lost thousands of America’s sons and daughters there, 1891 to be exact. They fell giving their lives for the security of our country and for the good of the Afghan people and the world. The cause of this war was just and appropriate. Regardless of what people feel about why we went to war with Iraq, the war in Afghanistan was warranted.
There has been a lot of discussion in the news, around the watercooler and in the homes of our military about what strategy we should take in Afghanistan. Should we draw a line in the sand at 2014 and pull out or should we plan to stay there until the country is ready to stand up for itself? In reality nobody has the perfect answer because none of us have the ability to see into the future.
However with SecDef Panetta’s slip of the tongue the other day stating that we are going to end the “combat’ role a year early in 2013, it really smells like our war strategy is now completely political. This screw up by the SecDef shocked many around the world, from the Afghans to Panetta’s own staff.
With an election year coming it is as clear as crystal that this new plan (that had yet to be announced to anyone) is geared towards propping up the President. He wants to be the guy who not only ended the Iraq War (except for the fact that President Bush signed the original agreement to have us out by the end of 2011), but also the Afghan war. As I said before when our last “combat troops” left Iraq, you can spin those lies all you want, but as long as they are still there kitted up, armed to the teeth and dying, they are in combat. So the administration is now planning a strategy to say that the last “combat” troops will be out of Afghanistan in 2013. Who knows how many and for how long American troops will stay there, but the political re-election machine wants the American people to believe the lies that by saying they are “non-combat” that we aren’t there getting wounded or dying anymore.
Now I personally agree that we need to hold Afghanistan accountable (like yesterday) for their own security. However I would like to think that our troops (many of which are friends of mine) whom are there, are there for the noble cause as for which this whole thing started, and not to just be fodder for political sound bites.