“I know that Obama’s election has brought great hopes to peace-loving people in the United States. But for Afghans, Obama’s military buildup will only bring more suffering and death to innocent civilians…”
— Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya
The only humane and proper response to the mess in Afghanistan is the rapid withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops from that country.
The makers of the brilliant documentary “Rethink Afghanistan” have after interviewing savvy diplomats, honest intelligence operatives and frustrated military men and women — as well as human rights activists, feminists and sincere reformers in Afghanistan — concluded that:
Expanding the war in Afghanistan will make Americans less safe, not more so. Less than 100 members of Al Qaeda remain in Afghanistan. The Karzai government we once supported is controlled by warlords and is riddled with corruption. Pakistan’s stability will be gravely imperiled by an expansion of the war. Hundreds if not thousands of troops will be killed, along with countless civilians.
Anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world will be inflamed by civilian bloodshed, facilitating recruitment by terrorist organizations. The war will cost billions of dollars when we can least afford it, and will stymie your domestic agenda. The cost of sustaining a military force in Afghanistan is $1 million per soldier per year – that’s close to $100 billion dollars annually with the troop increase. With the economy in shambles, the deficits generated by these enormous costs will compromise your domestic legislative agenda both fiscally and politically.
The United States has no vital interest in Afghanistan. If you choose to further escalate troop levels in Afghanistan, you will be making the biggest mistake of your presidency.
These points are have been confirmed again and again by savvy observers who have been on the ground in Afghanistan, including Americans such as Matthew Hoh, a decorated military officer and diplomat who until this summer served as the senior U.S. civilian official in that country’s strife-torn Zabul province.
Says Hoh: “The presence of our ground combat troops is not doing anything to defeat al-Qaida.”
So what are our troops doing there?