Karzai’s Double Game: Denounce US Presence, Offer Permanent Bases

By: Monday March 19, 2012 6:17 am

Senior officials tried to assure reporters yesterday that the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan will have no bearing on a post-2014 security arrangement for the US. And to be clear, it shouldn’t. We should get out regardless of that tragedy. It appears that the US is negotiating with two heads of state. There’s the [...]

Panetta Missed One Blunt Comment: We Want to Stay in Iraq to Facilitate Weapons Sales

By: Tuesday July 12, 2011 8:55 am

Leon Panetta, who apparently thinks we’re in Iraq because of 9-11, is very frustrated that the Iraqis haven’t recognized the brilliance of the US military and the need to keep us around permanently. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voiced frustration with the Iraqi government’s delay in deciding whether to ask the U.S. to keep troops [...]

Conflicting Reports Indicate that Drone Strikes Still Occurring in Pakistan

By: Friday July 1, 2011 9:35 am

So what’s going on with the US drone base in Pakistan? Yesterday, the Financial Times wrote that the Pakistani Defense Minister, Ahmed Mukhtar, demanded that the US remove itself from the Shamsi air base used to launch drone attacks. But the US is apparently refusing to leave, and suggested they didn’t even know about the [...]

Construction Contracts Point to Permanent Bases in Afghanistan

By: Tuesday June 28, 2011 1:49 pm

Walter Pincus was the guy at the Washington Post known for writing skeptical stories about the Iraq debacle that wound up on page A17. He still gets that level of respect today, even when he’s got better information than anyone else. In this case, Pincus advances the story of permanent bases in Afghanistan (I’m calling [...]

The New, Old Mission in Afghanistan

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 5:54 pm

Let me make some brief thoughts on the President’s address. First of all, it was a somewhat poorly written, bumper-sticker-laden speech. Obama clearly wanted to claim a position of success in Afghanistan, and use the withdrawal as an example of that success. But there were a couple things that can serve as markers for the [...]

Liveblog: Obama Speaks on Afghanistan Withdrawal

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 4:49 pm

At 8pm ET, the President will speak from the White House on the future of Afghanistan policy and the war. We know the top line news coming out of this speech – the President will remove 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, and another 23,000 by next September, meaning that all [...]

Obama Will Announce 10,000 Troops Out of Afghanistan This Year, Another 23,000 Out By Next Summer

By: Wednesday June 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Since Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung broke the suspense, I guess I’m free to say now that the President will announce tonight the removal of all 33,000 second surge troops from Afghanistan within 14 months, by September 2012. This would include a reduction of 10,000 troops by the end of the year, with the other [...]

Jim McGovern: “Think We Could Be Going for Permanent Bases” in Afghanistan

By: Monday June 20, 2011 10:16 am

The Obama Administration may be looking at a “return on investment” type of theory in figuring out how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan this July. After the successes in degrading Al Qaeda, the need for a large force in the country has become less apparent. As the Obama administration nears a crucial decision on [...]

More on US Seeking Permanent Bases in Afghanistan

By: Monday June 13, 2011 1:01 pm

The internal debate within the Administration over when and how to draw down in Afghanistan, and with how many troops, has begun. As I understand it, General David Petraeus will offer a range of options, and the national security team will assess them, with Obama having the final decision. As the LA Times notes, both [...]

The “Bin Laden Option” – US Wants Bases in Afghanistan

By: Thursday June 9, 2011 10:15 am

The White House may not want to admit that all their nation-building projects in Afghanistan are destined to crumble, but common sense dictates that as the expected outcome. It’s another reason why, after 10 years of war, and the sinking of thousands of lives and billions of dollars into the region, most Americans just want [...]

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