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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/16/21

US to Withdraw from Afghanistan after Two Decades of War Leaving Behind Tortured Wasteland Having Accomplished Nothing

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The US decision to leave Afghanistan without any condition represents a political victory for those in the US government who sought an end to the nearly two-decade conflict in that nation. .

President Joe Biden, in a departure from a policy embraced by four successive US presidential administrations which placed stringent conditions on determining the conditions under which the US might leave Afghanistan, has announced that he is ordering all US military forces out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 - the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks which propelled the US Afghan intervention to begin with. This decision, which is not linked to any preconditions or other policy contingencies means the US will finally extricate itself from the two-decade long nightmare in Afghanistan that had become known as "the forever war."

By rejecting the established model of a "conditions-based approach" when it came to withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan, President Biden liberated himself from the reality that the situation in Afghanistan would never stabilize to the point that the risk-averse generals who populate the US military (and for whom the war in Afghanistan has been an integral part of their respective careers) would feel comfortable leaving. In making this decision Biden mirrored the conclusion reached by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that left to their own devices, the US military would never depart from Afghanistan.

Biden had made the rejection of the so-called "forever war" in Afghanistan an integral part of his national security strategy, but had been held hostage by conditions that had been put in place regarding the capabilities of the Afghan military and security forces to operate independently, assurances about women's rights, assurances on the part of the Taliban regarding their relationship with Al-Qaeda, and a desire on the part of many officials - Biden included - that a residual force of US special operations forces based in Afghanistan was required for any lasting peace to be had.

In carrying out a "whole of government" analysis of US objectives in Afghanistan, it became apparent to Biden and his inner circle that by placing conditions on the withdrawal of US troops, the US would never leave Afghanistan. This decision flew in the face of the advice Biden was receiving from the military, which argued that any condition-free withdrawal would doom the Afghan government and military to a Vietnam-like collapse.

Biden had also to overcome similar objections on the part of NATO and non-NATO allies of the US who had collectively deployed a 7,000-strong contingent to Afghanistan dedicated to the very training and advisory capacity the US military claimed was essential to the continued survival of the Afghan government.

Unlike Trump, who ignored NATO when making his decision to withdraw, Biden dispatched his Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to the alliance's headquarters, where he announced that the US would work with its allies to ensure a "safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan."

Biden's decision was likewise aided by the recent appointment of William Burns, a veteran diplomat, to run the CIA. The CIA has built a virtual empire in Afghanistan, underpinned by a private army of contracted Afghan special forces who operate independently of the Afghan military, reporting instead to the CIA-controlled Afghan intelligence service. This private army represented the logical extension of the intimate and visceral involvement of the CIA in Afghanistan dating back to the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Like the US military, the current CIA leadership was forged in the fires of the Afghan conflict.

Trump's last CIA director, Gina Haspel, was the personification of this reality having played a key role in the implementation of both the CIA torture program and the ongoing use of armed drones to kill so-called "high value targets" in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Haspel strongly opposed Trump's withdrawal plan and worked with the Pentagon to prevent its full implementation. With Haspel gone, and Burns in as director, the CIA's objections, like those of the US military, have been pushed aside in favor of the domestic political imperative recognized by Biden that whatever national security gains that might be accrued by remaining in Afghanistan could not offset the reality that the American public was tired of a war that never ended and apparently could not be brought to a successful conclusion.

A wild card in this decision is the reality that by extending the deadline from May 1 to September 11 for the total withdrawal from Afghanistan of US and allied forces, Biden is violating the peace agreement signed by the US with the Taliban back in February 2020. The Taliban have rejected a US plan which would formally extend the deadline for withdrawal, instead insisting that the US comply with the original agreement. Likewise, the Taliban have refused to engage in any negotiations with the US if the May 1 deadline is missed.

There are concerns that the Taliban might engage in attacks against any American and NATO forces which remain in Afghanistan once the deadline passes, leading to an escalation in violence which could lead to US retaliation, and even the dispatch of additional troops to the region. However, by endorsing a "conditions-free" withdrawal, Biden is sending a clear signal that US and NATO troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11, regardless of what happens inside that nation in the interim.

The political nature of Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan is underscored by his linking of it to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. There is a certain irony in this decision. While Biden and his advisors clearly mean to convey the message of "mission accomplished" (even if they avoid that specific phrase), the fact is that the US is leaving Afghanistan roughly as it found it two decades ago, with the Taliban intact and largely in charge, and Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups such as the Islamic State intact and continuing to operate from Afghan soil.

In short, the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan accomplished nothing other than killing more than 2,000 Americans, wasting trillions of dollars of American treasure, and slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Afghans while leaving their country little more than a tortured wasteland.

 

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Scott Ritter served as a former Marine Corps officer from 1984 until 1991, and as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 until 1998. He is the author of several books, including "Iraq Confidential" (Nation Books, 2005) and "Target Iran" (more...)
 

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11 people are discussing this page, with 22 comments


Lance Ciepiela

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After 9/11, Bush attacks Afghanistan, then Iraq - 'The Crime of Aggression' - but in his deceptive 'thirst for preemptive wars' and 'regime change' he never investigates who was really responsible for all the explosions at the World Trade Center on 9/11 killing almost 3,000 persons. On 'every anniversary of 9/11' - 'giving pause to remember'. 9/11 Treason - MEMO to Congress - prima facie evidence cites Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. #ExecutiveSummary.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 11:06:17 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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But what about the poppy fields/heroin trade? And what about the precious metals and oil pipeline to the sea? How will the Black Projects be funded?

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 4:46:37 PM

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Fris Koy

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China can afford to buy Afghanistan. American Debt Instruments aren't what they used to be.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 8:26:27 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Fris Koy:   New Content

Hi Fris,

You might be interested in researching the ways the heroin trade has been funding Deep Black Projects.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 9:51:12 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Yes, 'what about' the #AnthraxAttacks, striking fear and terror in the hearts of the Senate Democrats - Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle/Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy - enough so that the Senate Democrats vote with the 'impulsive' Senate Republicans to quickly pass Bush's #PatriotAct, immediately placing the American People 'under immediate suspicion' of some wrong doing after 9/11 and 'eviscerating' their 'civil liberties'. Bush warns the American People that 'you are either with us or with the terrorists' but only some 'terrorists' themselves - 9/11, a 'self-inflicted' event/pre-planted explosives - would dare threaten the 'liberties' of a 'freedom and liberty loving nation'.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 1:24:50 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Lance Ciepiela:   New Content

Lance,

You are doing a service by fixating on the events connected with 9/11, which have been hidden and slipped down the memory hole. It is critical that these come to light.

At the same time, my sense is that you are simultaneously focusing on "small potatoes."

So I suggest broadening your focus. 9/11 may well have been a stepping stone to further false flag operations (which may include the "pandemic"). For more, may I suggest you check out Steven M. Greer's website, as well as his talks on Youtube, including "Cosmic False Flag."

First, we need to bring 9/11 out into the open. At the same time we all need to see beyond it to other possible nefarious strategies.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 2:44:29 PM

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The least Joe Biden can do is ship ventilators to "help" Taliban Patriots who suddenly stop breathing.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 8:24:19 PM

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Wilfred Rondeau

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You beat me to it Blair. The US managed to reintroduce poppy growth and the heroin trade, which had been nearly extinguished by the "savage" Taliban.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 9:26:05 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Hi Wilfred,

Re- your comment and funding Deep Black Projects...

If you wish, see the book, Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert, and Steven Greer on YouTube.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 9:48:45 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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9/11 AM "The war games and terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks who had trained their whole lives for this moment would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding - these exercises were under Dick Cheney's management" - by Michael Ruppert. #WarGames #TerrorDrills. "All those deaths, all that destruction, are on Dick Cheney personally" - by David Steele. 9/11 PM "Spotlight on Seven".

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 2:23:11 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Lance Ciepiela:   New Content

Lance,

You are clearly fixated on 9/11. I could think of worse fixations to have.

At the same time you are robbing yourself and others of a wider, deeper perspective.

That's on you.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 3:23:46 PM

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Joe Biden spews WMD Lies during Senior Weapons Inspector Scott Ridder's Hearing.

"Biden was a man who believed in regime change. Biden was a man who believed Saddam Hussein was the personification of evil. Biden was a man who believed that we had to use whatever means necessary up to and including war to remove Saddam Hussein from power. And Joe Biden recognized that weapons inspections, if allowed to proceed would undermine his effort. This is why he had to discredit the inspections." - Former Chief UN Weapons inspector Scott Ritter

Submitted on Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 11:06:21 AM

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John Jonik

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Is this a WAR...or a US Invasion?

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 10:45:53 PM

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David William Pear

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What about the 18,000 "Blackwater"/CIA contractors?

Biden's Claim To Be Ending America's Longest War Misleading [i.e. a lie]

Special Forces, Pentagon Contractors and Intelligence Operatives Will Remain

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 11:01:53 PM

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Mohammad Ala

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I will start by a saying: the enemy of your enemy is not suitable to be a friend.

I was going to write about this subject but I became distracted with chores.

On April 14, 2021, President Biden announced all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. In my view, this is not going to happen. There will be excuses to delay this withdrawal.

Hasn't the withdrawal been announced at least six times before?

Why not sooner than September 11, 2021? Haven't several Afghan Presidents asked for U.S. to leave?

Who armed and trained the Taliban? The fight or U.S. involvement was NEVER about the right of Afghan people who have become the largest refugees in the past 100 years. Several millions of them escaped to Iran and placed a huge burden on Iran's limited resources. Go ahead blame Iran.

UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency was banned through illegal sanctions to help Iran.

Read about Seth G. Jones who on April 15, 2021 mentioned it was a mistake to withdrawal U.S. forces and to leave the country to extremist groups, namely, Taliban.

What a joke.

Very little has been written the negative role of Saudi Arabia in creation of Taliban.

The list of companies that have profited from Afghan war is long, at least 30 companies including the company that lobby groups supported.

Human rights? When in fact several million Afghan people have been killed or lost a limb. Human rights have turned into human abuses.

U.S./NATO and their allies have killed several million people, destroyed Afghanistan without being punished.

The wars have been profitable for Western countries because they have helped them to loot various countries.

The useless UN members have been quiet while Western countries and Russia have killed over 40,000,000 people since WWII. If one goes back to WWI, this number will increase to 70,000,000 people AND over 50,000,000,000 who have lost a limb, are suffering from negative effects of wars, or have become refugees.

Western media have been biased, not reporting all the facts because it is controlled by interest groups instead the media have lied while Western countries have terrorized many countries.

Submitted on Friday, Apr 16, 2021 at 11:57:02 PM

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David William Pear

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Reply to Mohammad Ala:   New Content

All true Mohammad,

The U.S. went to Afghanistan in 1979 and never left. It is false that Afghanistan deteriorated into chaos 1989 because the U.S. "abandoned" it. The U.S. instigated sectarian violence to divide and conquer. The U.S. has always known that Afghanistan is rich in natural resources. The opium trade is lucrative too. The U.S. loved the Taliban when they were going to make a deal with Unical. Under communism Afghanistan was advancing and developing. Women had rights and were educated and in the workplace. The U.S. whipped up radicals who were against women's rights. It is all too cynical.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 12:40:51 AM

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Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

THANKS David for your comment.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 1:00:07 AM

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Seems like the American public has been brainwashed to accept every war we fight in, war is America's business. I absolutely hate war, it's got to be the dumbest thing the human race does. We need to get rid of the people who like war once and for all, and then there will be no more war.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 8:53:54 AM

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molly cruz

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I wouldn't say "nothing"; we topped off a lagging economy, which is the purpose of war. Never mind love, we're addicted to hate. When Newsweek put the Palestinian father holding his dead son in his lap; killed for throwing a rock at a tank, one could feel the ground shift beneath the feet; and the next thing we knew, very tall buildings were mysteriously crumbling in lower Manhattan like a professional destruction job.

It's a game, boys. And it's a boy's game. And there's not a single uniform pretty enough to ennoble it.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 11:10:48 AM

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Our regressive tax dollars at work. >:-(

Submitted on Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 5:16:58 PM

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We got thousands of screwed up vets from multiple tours who were massaged and groomed by snipers and IEDs to fit perfectly in the thug force that will be testing, tracing and jabbing us right here in the near future.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 1:04:06 PM

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Afghanistan isn't a WAR....as much as we like that word for invasions, military conflicts, bombing, and the rest.

click here


Submitted on Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:39:02 AM

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