Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon 1 Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   1 comment
OpEdNews Op Eds

US Ending the War in Afghanistan? It Depends on the Meaning of the Word "War'

By       Message Dave Lindorff       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 63
Become a Fan
  (82 fans)
- Advertisement -

By Dave Lindorff


American 'trainers' deplaning in El Salvador's war, circa 1982
(Image by ThisCantBeHappening)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

It is amazing to watch politicians trying to weasel their way around their promises. President Obama is providing us with a good illustration of the art.

- Advertisement -


During the latest presidential campaign and in the final televised debates, both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were adamant in asserting that the US would be leaving Afghanistan and ending the war in that country at the end of 2014--a goal most Americans profoundly want. Biden, in a heated debate with his Republican opponent Paul Ryan, said the US would "absolutely" be "out" of Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Obama, a week later, said, "By 2014, this process of transition will be complete and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security."


- Advertisement -

I'm reminded of President Clinton, a lawyer who, when pressed under oath by a special prosecutor hounding him over the details of whether he had had sex with a young White House intern, said that the answer hinged on "what the meaning of the word "is' is."


This past weekend, it was reported that Obama and the generals at the Pentagon are planning on keeping at least 10,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan indefinitely after that 2014 deadline for ending the war and withdrawing from that war-torn land.


Just to make it clear what we're talking about here, 10,000 troops would represent an army half the size of the entire army of either the Netherlands or Denmark, two countries which currently have troops assigned to the NATO forces posted in Afghanistan as allies in the 12-year-long US war there.


- Advertisement -

The notion that these 10,000 post-2014 soldiers would just be "training" the Afghan military is simply absurd.  Parris Island, the famed boot camp in South Carolina  for the US Marine Corps, which boasts what probably is the toughest training program of any of the branches of the US military, churns out 17,000 new Marines a year with a training unit of 600 uniformed personnel. That's one trainer per 170 recruits. At that rate,  the 10,000 US "trainers" in Afghanistan could be training 1.7 million new recruits for the Afghan army each year! Even allowing for the typical top-heaviness of the US military, if only a third of those 10,000 "trainers" were actually drill sergeants and their staff, we're talking about a training force capable of producing over 500,000 new Afghan soldiers per year!  But Afghanistan's army today, which the US claims is already largely trained and ready to protect the country, has only a total of some 200,000 active duty soldiers altogether.


So let's get serious here. These 10,000 soldiers that Obama and the Pentagon are talking about stationing in Afghanistan after the war is "ended" in December 2012 are not really going to be trainers. 


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Israel's Gaza Atrocities Recall America's Atrocities in Vietnam

Supreme Court Junket King Scalia Dies While Vacationing with Wealthy Patrons at Private West Texas Getaway

Something's happening here: Clinton's Crumbling, Bernie's Surging and a 'Political Revolution' May Be in the Offing

Looming climate catastrophe?: A Rapidly Warming Arctic Could Loose a Methane Climate Bomb Causing Extinction in 9 Years

The Case for Impeachment of President Barack Obama

Barack Obama: Manchurian Candidate Version 2.0