The Brits say they're definitely, positively, absolutely out of Afghanistan in 2014 and, I suppose, we'll just wait and see. But I know another country that isn't planning on leaving for years, possibly decades to come. That would be the United States, the country that has now grown quite comfortable with permanent war, the world's one and only Warfare State.
This one-for-all, all-for-one pap NATO and our own scurrilous pols have been feeding us this past decade is just that. It's nonsense. There have always been two players in this, the United States and everyone else. Call it Washington's NATO Foreign Legion. America has a bevy of geo-political interests in this hotspot that the rest of us don't share. It's a focal point for rivals China, India and Russia. Add to those three another nuclear power - Pakistan. America, China, India, Russia, Pakistan - those guys have the lion's share of all the nukes in the world and now they're in this hellhole jockeying for position.
I'm not just pulling this out of my backside. We didn't hear much about it but the U.S. awarded a big contract in early November. It went to B.L. Harbert, a Birmingham, Ala., contractor who got the nod to construct the new U.S. Embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan. Like its sister embassy in Baghdad, it'll be a Vatican City sized compound including chancery buildings, an ambassador's residence, apartment buildings, recreation facilities and support, maintenance and security buildings and infrastructure. The contract is for a whopping $734-million greenbacks. Like the Baghdad embassy it'll be a heavily defended, walled complex which will come in handy because it will be attacked, probably with some frequency.
So, here's the deal. You don't decide in November, 2010 to build a billion dollar mega-Alamo in a dirt poor country if you even think you might scram in 2014. No, building the second biggest embassy on the planet is a pretty good indication you've just bought another stack of chips.