Remember back when Candidate Obama used to talk about being against "dumb wars"? Then he became president and started to realize how much more fun it is to run them, I guess. He ended up tripling troop strength in Afghanistan, all as part of a "surge" that even the U.S. military says accomplished nothing.
Via CNN, here's his latest plan regarding of the Graveyard of Empires, a country we've been in for 14 years now and counting.
The decision to maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan until nearly the end of Obama's time in office comes after months of discussions with Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, and the nation's CEO, Abdullah Abdullah, senior administration officials said Wednesday night. Obama also consulted with U.S. military commanders on the ground in Afghanistan as well as his entire national security team, officials added.
According to the new White House plan, the number of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan would drop to 5,500 by early 2017, as Obama prepares to leave office. At that point, U.S. forces would be based in the Afghan capital of Kabul, as well as in military installations in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar.
Note that Obama had originally pledged to pull all American forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
During the financial crisis, there was a lot of fear of creating "zombie businesses," or dead firms that were essentially barely alive because of constant infusions of tax dollars. It turns out that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, we've effectively created zombie countries who cannot maintain their existence without a constant infusion not just of cash but of young American soldiers. The United States has bases in over 70 countries and the Pentagon considers "small installations" to be those that cost as much as $900 million a year to staff and operate.
Just a week or so ago, the U.S. military destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, a town that is now slugging it out with the Taliban, the repressive government we booted from power way back in 2001.
Get your hippie on and listen to Mick Softley's "The War Drags On":