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The Crumbling American Presence in Afganistan

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O.K.; let's cut to the chase, regarding the continuation of our disastrous war in Afghanistan.

Ending It now should be a no brainer but of course we have to endure the blather coming out of the Obama administration i.e. everything is still "on course", there are "benchmarks" to be met and "steps to be taken", we're still "leaving by the end of 2014" and "turning security responsibility to the Afghans" at that time, blah, blah, blah.

Meanwhile the Taliban, who are holding all the winning cards (despite the propaganda we've got the upper hand) decided to suspend peace talks with the Americans, knowing full well time is on their side and whether we leave by the end of 2014 or earlier, they'll dispense with the quisling Karsai regime and retake control of the government they were forced to relinquish in 2001 shortly after the American invasion. So to them, what's to negotiate?

Besides the Taliban readily see the American presence crumbling with the atrocity of an American sergeant's massacre of 16 innocent Afghan women and children slaughtered then burned as they slept, the Koran burning by American military personnel, the pictures of American Marines urinating on the dead Afghans they just killed along with the American led night raids and drone attacks that Afghans hate and kill innocents. Plus the Taliban are aware that in polls, the majority of the American people say they want us out of Afghanistan ASAP.

As usual, American politics rules the day. Obama knows the war is lost but he must fend off right wing slings and arrows that depict him as weak on defense and with this being an election year he believes his hands are tied at least till after the election in November.

So doing the right thing and exiting this quagmire (which he escalated foolishly with utter naivete, listening to then "wunderkind" General David Petraeus' advice that a counter insurgency "surge" would work in Afghanistan) is highly unlikely in 2012.

So though our continued presence in Afghanistan is deteriorating precipitously as we speak, our military men on the line will continue to slog in this wrongheaded war knowing we're leaving and they should be out of there sooner rather than later.

But as they and their buddies die and get maimed in this senseless war, it's a pretty safe bet they'll commit more atrocities and massacres in mindless retribution against innocent Afghans.

That's what happens in unnecessary wars and occupations of choice that should never have been initiated and had nothing to do with defense of America.

As in Viet Nam, winning battles does not constitute winning the war. In Viet Nam the raison d' e tre for that war was the "Domino Theory" and the fear of spreading Communism. Now we invade and occupy countries to combat the spread of terrorism (or non-existent WMD in Iraq or non-existent ties to al Qaeda).

There is only one reason for the existence of the military and it's simply the direct defense of the country from imminent attack as that is the only reason to put our people in harm's way.

Any other reason to use our military is contrived, politically motivated and ethically, morally and legally wrong. [1]          

[1] Except in the case of humanitarian involvement and the use of military peace keepers in other countries. That is under the auspices of the U.N. and can only be authorized by that body. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not sanctioned by the U.N., were not in defense of the country and were therefore illegal.

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