Millions of Americans voted for Barack Obama with the hope that the new president would get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Withdrawal from the former has been an easier task than the latter. The hawks in the Pentagon have remained committed to total victory and any talk of downsizing the troop levels smacked of the defeatism. Americans might like the serialization of movies, but few are willing to recreate the images of the last helicopter leaving the US Embassy in Saigon.
THe cost of the war is enormous in both lives and treasure.
60 dead this month was the greatest loss of US military since the beginning of this long war in October 2001.
This year the Pentagon will spent over $100 billion in Afghanistan.
The GOP has waged a relentless campaign for fiscal responsibility within the government. The infrastructure of this country is is desperate need of renewal. The White House has suggested that plans for cutting troops are on the table. 10,000 by the end of the year. 23,000 by the finish of 2012. Long-term strategy for the military suggested that the USA will stay stuck in Afghanistan to the bitter end and that country has presented many occupiers with very bitter ends.
The British Empire suffered a rout in 1842 after refusing to pay an indemnity to a chieftain controlling the Khyber Pass. Only one soldier escaped that retreat. Over 16000 were not so lucky on the road from Kabul.
Throughout the 80s the USSR fought a deadly war in Afghanistan.
No victory, but they were happy to get out of there.
The cost to the Afghanis was staggering; 600,000-2,000,000 killed, over 3 million civilians wounded, 5 million external refugees and 2 million internally displaced persons.
And the war continues without any sign of the combatants calling for a ceasefire.
What a difference does 40 years of war make?
Above is as before and after picture of Paghman Gardens, Kabul Afghanistan taken 40 years apart.
Click on photo to enlarge.
Photo from www.pixdaus.com
End the war now.