Seldom do I hold a President accountable for a campaign promise, simply because, “they promise you what it is that you want to hear, and they never fulfill the promise or provide the answer or the solution in the end.” In other words, “a politician will say anything” in order to get elected.
Our President promised for example “to bring the troops home.”
And he now considers that policy in place and happening. At first glance it would appear he is doing just that, but it is smoke and mirrors. Mr. Obama is reducing the size of the army in Afghanistan down from 100,000 to 30,000. That is not bringing them home, that is still leaving a sizable portion of them there to bolster the Afghan Army which is a joke, a rag-tag assemble of soldiers, who had some 24,000 deserters just last year.
Recently I talked to a vet who had been there, he said the country was a rat hole, a sewer, a festering pockmark on the face of humanity. It all started under Bush as a narrow, modest war of necessity. Most of the goals of that administration were accomplished quickly. Then as it is with all American Wars, it was expanded.
We set out with determined measure to transform this tribal nation into a stable democracy. Ten years later, the goal remains out of our grasp, despite the loss of 1,800 American lives and a cost of over $400 billion dollars. Now ask yourself this question, “What would $400 billion dollars buy in the way of computers for kids, how far would it go towards a poverty program for those who are hungry? In what way could this money have been spent better for a cause that was worthy?” We spend all of our money building roads and bridges in countries that most people ride a donkey to town.
The democracy aspect of all this is just about as ludicrous.
Afghanistan is arguably the most primitive nation on earth with rampant malnutrition, widespread illiteracy, and a 15th century standard of living. The government of President Hamid Karzai is totally corrupt, and is despised by the ordinary Afghans. Their army is a shamble and certainly no match for the Taliban just next door in Pakistan.
Everything that has been accomplished in this country in the past ten years, is certainly very fragile and reversible. If our President pushes ahead with his plan to withdraw U.S. troops by 2014, the Taliban will pour back into Afghanistan from their sanctuaries in Pakistan. The country will once again become a terrorist haven, with disastrous consequences for the United States and for world security.
The Russians found this to be true in their brief history with the country and we are soon to find out the same end result. After ten years of being mired in this cesspool we face the very same depressing out look.
We will in the end, give it all back. Only one question remains.
At what cost?