Afghanistan

It Looks Like Trump Is About to Pull the U.S. Out of Afghanistan, Too

After announcing draw-down from Syria, the president may be seriously contemplating getting out of Afghanistan as well.

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OMAR SOBHANI/REUTERS/Newscom

Update: The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 7,000 U.S. troops will start to be pulled out of Aghanistan "in the coming weeks."

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, hard on the heels of yesterday's announced draw-down in Syria. Washington was already in a tizzy about the abrupt manner of the Syria announcement, and seems to be greeting these early reports of Afghanistan in the same way. But ending these two drawn-out, expensive wars is the right thing to do. There's only so much good money, men, and materiel you can throw after bad.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports:

Officials throughout the Trump administration are bracing themselves for the President to make an announcement about the US presence in Afghanistan, similar to his declaration Wednesday that the US will withdraw the military from Syria, informed administration sources tell CNN.

The sources cautioned that President has not yet made a final decision, but officials are concerned and convinced that he might do so, and soon.

The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, most of which are present as part of a larger NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. Any withdrawal would be complicated by the fact that the United States is part of NATO's Resolute Support mission.

Tapper's report appears to have been confirmed by The Wall Street Journal, which says the administration is thinking about a "substantial reduction of troops in Afghanistan." The reduction "could begin in several weeks," the Journal reports, citing administration officials.

Reason's Christian Britschgi pointed out last month that the U.S. has spent $900 billion on the war in Afghanistan since it began in 2001. Despite 2,400 American lives lost, the U.S. has failed to build a stable, democratic government in the country.

This post has been updated.

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  1. Just like the Soviets. Coincidence?

    1. Russians always leave Afghanistan.

      1. No the lyrics are:

        Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
        Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
        Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
        Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

        1. That song is so awesome. It is like the Baby Boomers’ complaining about the Greatest Generation and then the Boomers finally get to be CEOs and politicians and they give us the last 30 years. Gen X needs a sequel for this song to stick in the face of the Boomers.

          1. Countries are fighting with chemical warfare.
            Not giving a damn about the people who live.
            Nostradamus predicts the coming of the Antichrist.
            Hey, look out, the third world nations are on the rise.
            The Democratic-Communist Relationship,
            Won’t stand in the way of the Islamic force.

          2. It’s already the finale of a trilogy:

            1. “Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)” Reunion (74)
            2. “It’s the End of the World” R.E.M. (87)
            3. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Billy Joel (89)

            All songs about the world spinning out of control with the verses consisting of rapid fire lists of historical events.

            1. ISTR that “Game of Thrones” started out as a trilogy, too. So a 4th song wouldn’t really be completely out of scope.

  2. Question 1: What is the US Military mission statement at this time in each of these countries?
    Question 2: What will be the US Military mission statement from here out if we stay?

    With nothing but respect for the troops themselves, what is the US Political leadership telling them to do? A military force has historically had one of two missions; take a piece of ground held by the enemy, or defend a piece of ground the enemy wishes to take from us. Which applies in these cases?

    1. History schmistory. Their mission is to go wherever the pols say.

      How else ya gonna fly a Mission Accomplished banner, or pat yourself on the back for topping a two-bit desert dictator who you’ve just blamed for the deaths of four diplomats?

    2. I think you answered your own question via the “historically” phrasing.


  3. The sources cautioned that President has not yet made a final decision, but officials are concerned and convinced that he might do so, and soon.

    See, this makes me think he isn’t going to do it.

  4. That will definitely save enough money to build the stupid wall. And you know damned well that why he’s doing it, because the wall is the only thing he actually cares about.

    1. If building the damned wall is the price we pay for exiting the graveyard of empires, I’ll take it.

    2. The wall seems like a better use of the money.

      1. Using the money for toilet paper might be a better use.

    3. Or maybe you are just too fucking stupid to imagine other scenarios.

  5. The sources cautioned that President has not yet made a final decision

    about whether to hose the place down with pig blood as the transport planes depart.

  6. Rand Paul has the pee tape and he’s using it to bribe Trump into ending our overseas wars.

    1. “It’s Happening!”

      1. Can’t spell “happening” with pee pee.

        1. Or without.

        2. That depends on the size of your bladder.

  7. What am I going to do with all these papier mache heads of Trump?

    1. Oooh, I know! Decorate the Wall with ’em!

    2. Bake a cake?

    3. Fill ’em with candy, then take them to Democrat safe spaces?

  8. Another victory!

    U S A!
    U S A!

    We are greater than ever! Trump’s America makes Ike’s America look like Yemen! I bet Americans were super dirty back then.

  9. The cynic in me sees this as a pre-emptive strike by the chicken hawks to forestall any such withdrawal.

  10. I bloody well hope it’s true. I’ve been against us being in Afghanistan since before we went there.

    1. Member the way it first started with a small force of dudes on horseback? They tried to make us think that it would be small, short, and cheap. I member.

      1. Just “advisers”, that’s all. Well, maybe some weapons…

        1. And now we’re about to have PFCs that weren’t even born when we started this shit, end up in theater there.

      2. Pepperidge farms remembers too

  11. I eagerly await Shikha’s column about how this is all a prelude to Trump starting WWIII, and/or he’s just doing the bidding of Putin

    1. I’m laying odds that whatever she does will blow a flotilla of looter Trumpista sockpuppets out of the water.

    2. I’m looking forward to the tears of one of our irregular lefty idiots who whined thus about Syria:

      “SimonP|12.20.18 @ 11:17AM|#
      I’m not really sure why we can’t agree with the ultimate objective (disengaging from Syria’s civil conflict) while objecting to the way it’s being done (without any consideration to the facts on the ground or how the move will impact other foreign policy goals).”

      Ha, and ha!

    3. Letting the Taliban control Afghanistan worked so well for us the first time.

      1. Bitter shitlib is bitter.

      2. SimonP|12.20.18 @ 8:29PM|#
        “Letting the Taliban control Afghanistan worked so well for us the first time.”
        GRASP them straws, lefty scumbag.
        Fuck off

        1. Man, they all follow the same script, Madcow, Screamin Dean, and shitferbrains SimonP. Have you seriously seen a more unprincipled, amoral, lying collection of sacks of shit since Obama left?

          I still don’t like most of what Trump does, but when you look at the scumbag Dems waiting in the wings it makes it hard to get too worked up.

    4. Really highlights how much of a spineless puke Obama was. 90% of D’s would have been clapping their seal flippers barking up a storm if he’d any balls at all and started withdrawing. Haven’t seen any polling but I doubt support for this is very high among Trump backers. As much as I think the guy is a dick and disagree with his policy he has balls to make a call like this versus Lil’ Barry who probably asked the old lady whether he could wear boxers instead of tidy whities.

  12. Gary “humanitarian wars” Johnson won’t be too happy about these events (though he’s still not quite sure what a “leppo” is).

  13. What a disastrous, irresponsible course of action. One of the many reasons I proudly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 was her strong record on foreign policy. President Clinton would absolutely not be doing something this reckless.

    #LibertariansForFinishingTheJob
    #SaveTheGOPFromTheAltRight
    #PutTheNeoconsBackInCharge

    1. OBL best poster.

      1. This is certainly one of his better efforts, I gotta say.

  14. Fucking MAGA!

  15. If Trump keeps this up, I’m going to have to vote for him in 2020.

  16. Bring the boys back home.

  17. Do it, Mr President, and I’ll take back some of the bad things I’ve said about you!

    1. Agreed, this is objectively a great thing. Props to him if he follows through!

  18. The threat of Libertarian spoiler votes was enough to cause Republicans to backstab their buddy Nixon and get the heck out of ‘Nam. The Gee-Oh-Pee just witnessed its most horrific LP spoiler vote nightmares come true twice as looter voters bolt in a steeply increasing hockey stick chart to again support Libertarian candidates! This is the spoiler vote clout that changes bad laws. It’s a hard rain…

    1. WTF are you talking about? There is no ‘spoiler effect’ from the LP tangibly threatening Trump at this juncture. You’re just an idiot who retreads the same shitposts.

  19. The threat of Libertarian spoiler votes was enough to cause Republicans to backstab their buddy Nixon and get the heck out of ‘Nam. The Gee-Oh-Pee just witnessed its most horrific LP spoiler vote nightmares come true twice as looter voters bolt in a steeply increasing hockey stick chart to again support Libertarian candidates! This is the spoiler vote clout that changes bad laws. It’s a hard rain…

  20. That would be pretty awesome.

  21. Gosh, if Trump is going to end the war, and the democrats and their media allies are against anything he does, they will be calling Trump an anti-war coward.

    1. The fact that Literally Hitler is ending wars instead of starting them should make the left’s heads explode from the cognitive dissonance. I bet it actually won’t even phase them though.

  22. Fucking hell, why didn’t he do this before the mid-terms?

    1. looks like he had to get rid of Mattis first.

    2. Because that was before Pelosi insulted his manhood and being president stopped being fun.

      1. If anyone is an expert on lacking manhood, it would certainly be you.

  23. Huh. If it happens I will stop hedging my support for the Orange One.
    Suck it, war mongering neocons, never trumpers, etc.

  24. I’m fine with it but this criminal assohole is just going find some other way to waste the money on military spending. It’s not like we’re reducing our military budgets.

    1. “I’m fine with it but this criminal assohole is just going find some other way to waste the money on military spending. It’s not like we’re reducing our military budgets.”

      Fucking ignoramus checks in with imbecilic comment!
      Way to GO!

    2. No. We’re just creating a military slush fund that might end up building a wall on the southern border, like a retard version of the Iran-Contra scandal.

      1. Military expenditures for domestic purposes? Good heavens!

      2. SimonP|12.20.18 @ 8:30PM|#
        “No. We’re just creating a military slush fund that might end up building a wall on the southern border, like a retard version of the Iran-Contra scandal.”

        Naah, we’re getting imbecilic comments from lefty assholes like you!

    3. ” this criminal assohole is just going find some other way to waste the money on military spending ”

      You’re confused. Hillary wasn’t elected president.

  25. We’ll see what happens when the Taliban hangs our allies in the soccer stadiums.

    1. What the hell.

    2. As long as you’re swinging with them, it’s all good.

    3. If that happens, then our allies need to go in and crush them. We need to GTFO of that human shit-hole that is the middle east. We aren’t the worlds policemen or hall monitors. Another terrorist attack could happen at any time, whether we occupy their lands until the end of time or we withdraw. Endless wars with vague to no goals should not be the accepted norm.

    4. Hilarious to see lefties become neocons. Trump really broke your brains, if you had any to begin with.

  26. You know who else pulled out before the job was done?

    1. Basically every male porn star, pretty much.

    2. Not Nick Bradshaw

    3. Lee Harvey Oswald? His real target, Connally, survived.

    4. The French?

  27. You want to disengage from Syria and Afghanistan? Fine. Put together a strategy, consult your experts, warn your allies, and withdraw in an orderly manner that doesn’t make you look like a fucking amateur throwing a goddamn temper tantrum.

    This is only happening because Trump is tired of #losing and he wants to save face by claiming that #promiseskept. That’s all it is, and you all are a bunch of idiots for golf-clapping over it.

    1. Oh, yes. Strategies for the Middle East have always worked out well.

    2. You’re projecting more than a 20- screen movie theater.

    3. I have been more worried that one of his tantrums would include use of force with flimsy merit in an attempt to look tough and garner public support (I mean, it’s unamerican to criticize a president in wartime right?)

      If one of his tantrums involves him doing something great, I will happily golf-clap for him and give some kudos. Maybe if enough people do that he will repeat the good behavior in the future.

      1. Yeah, wait for him to order a strike on the DPRK, now that Mattis is out.

        1. SimonP|12.20.18 @ 9:34PM|#
          “Yeah, wait for him to order a strike on the DPRK, now that Mattis is out.”
          Wait for lefty asshole to make sense.

    4. We can’t just stop killing people overseas in an unconstitutional military action without a plan, damnit! We need a plan!

      1. In a previous history, Obama was soundly rebuked for telegraphing his intention to reduce troops in Iraq in an orderly withdrawal, thereby giving the Taliban months to prepare.

        It appears that no matter what you do, some people just want to see the Middle East impregnated.

    5. I think “We’re done here. We’re going home,” is a damn fine plan. What is there left to “plan”?

    6. You know who says shit like you just posted? People who don’t actually want to end these wars.

  28. I’m not optimistic about the future of Afghanistan but I still think this is the right course. Have more concerns about the abruptness of it than with Syria, but maybe it’s for the best.

    1. Look, if things become problematic over there, nothing is forever. President Clinton can go right back in in 2020.

    2. Yea well, Afganistan’s fate is now in their hands, as it’s always been. We can’t hold their hands forever.

    3. Believe me, that shithole will never change even if you garrison the whole People’s Liberation Army in the middle of Kabul.

  29. If Trump ends the immoral, counterproductive, failed, costly, lethal misadventure in Afghanistan he should be applauded. If there ever was a just, moral American military action related to Afghanistan, it would have ended roughly 15 years ago.

    Iraq was worse. Invading the wrong country is never good.

    1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|12.20.18 @ 10:36PM|#
      “If Trump ends the immoral, counterproductive, failed, costly, lethal misadventure in Afghanistan he should be applauded. If there ever was a just, moral American military action related to Afghanistan, it would have ended roughly 15 years ago.
      Iraq was worse. Invading the wrong country is never good.”

      And our annoying asshole is left with being an annoying asshole, not quite admitting he’s been an annoying asshole.
      Fuck off.

  30. This #LibertarianMoment brought to you by Orange Man and the Deplorables who supported him, over the hysterical pants shitting opposition of @Reason

    You’re welcome

    1. Indeed.

  31. Come on. Just give it ten more years. By then our Killbots should be fully autonomous and we can go Metalhead on those insurgents.

  32. Incredible! Most of the whiny, idiotic comments on this thread confirm that contemporary “Libertarians” are nothing but completely dependent, mush-headed Leftists and spoiled brats whose primary concern is who will take care of them while they smoke pot and live in their parents basement or on food stamps. ALL authentic Libertarians support getting out of Syria and Afghanistan and all imperialistic wars. As far as the baby-boomer generation ….. their greatest error was spoiling you brats and continuing the work of earlier generations to provide you with the most affluent nation in the history of history. The self-pitying and pathetic Gen Xers and the even more worthless Millennials don’t deserve any of it. Now, you pitiful fucks, return to your video games and smartphones and remain comfortable numb.

  33. But if we pull out… Who is going to kill all the towel heads? I mean SURE, they do a pretty good job of killing each other… But not nearly at the scale demanded by God, or something. And the Russians surely aren’t going to step it up NEARLY enough.

    The world will fall apart if we don’t keep spending hundreds of billions killing people in the middle east! Fall apart I tell you!!!

  34. I am mulling over what an “imperialistic” war might be in this day and age. What an inappropriate term to hang on involvements since 2001 that clearly were responses to the tragic reality that terrorists can reach out and touch us unless we do something proactive and drastic to stop them.

    The good news is that we have been surprisingly effective at stopping them. Even the Europeans are doing a better job at keeping down the Jihad carnage except for the lone wolf here or there.

    Now, are you ready for the bad news? A general world economic collapse means the USA is going to have to cut its budgets wherever it can. No more stupid wind mills virtue signaling to the skies, no more multi-multi billion F-35s and flat tops to fly them from, and no more patrolling backwaters.

    The new Democrat House majority will likely want to trash the more favorable NAFTA and EU trade agreements Trump has wrangled at great cost, even perhaps some concessions from China. In doing so, Dems will kill a lot of new jobs and commerce that have blossomed under Trump, and even a hateful, all-out FAKE NEWS legacy media will not be able to hide that ugly reality for long.

    Not in bad times they won’t. In bad times, who will be the scapegoat?

  35. Good. Muslims have been warring with each other for over a thousand years. We’re not going to solve it. Use the money we save to improve our military or use it against our deficit.

  36. Trump is now the best president of the 21st century.

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