The bribes don’t seem to be working. The Obama Administration may be leaving Afghanistan earlier than planned thanks to the deteriorating relationship between President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai has been a catastrophe as president since day one, never winning over the Afghan people and relegating himself to Mayor of Kabul. Karzai’s latest antics such as sabotaging peace talks between the U.S. and Taliban may have pushed the Obama Administration over the edge.
Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a “zero option” that would leave no American troops there after next year, according to American and European officials.
Mr. Obama is committed to ending America’s military involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and Obama administration officials have been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a small “residual force” behind. But his relationship with Mr. Karzai has been slowly unraveling, and reached a new low after an effort last month by the United States to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.
Hard to believe we would ever get to the point of having “zero” troops in Afghanistan. Then again, it’s hard to believe we continue to support Hamid Karzai as president and lose our sons and daughters to protect his corrupt rule.
As it stands, the number of American troops in Afghanistan — around 63,000 — is scheduled to go down to 34,000 by February 2014. The White House has said the vast majority of troops would be out of Afghanistan by the end of that year, although it now appears that the schedule could accelerate to bring the bulk of the troops — if not all of them — home by next summer, as the annual fighting season winds down…
The ripple effects of a complete American withdrawal would be significant. Western officials said the Germans and Italians — the two main European allies who have committed to staying on with substantial forces — would leave as well. Any smaller nations that envisioned keeping token forces would most likely have no way of doing so.
No one really seems to have an answer as to why the U.S. is even still in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden fled to Pakistan shortly after the war started in 2001 and the Taliban represent a significant portion of the native population – wiping them out would mean wiping out the people of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Karzai is taking bribes from the CIA and his brother is one of the biggest heroin dealers in the world. Needless to say it is becoming harder to justify the sacrifice of our service members to protect the Karzai regime.
Photo by White House under Public Domain.