Wednesday, February 01, 2012

U.S. to Wrap Up Afghan Combat Mission in 2013

By mid-2013 Afghan security or, arguably its civil war, will again be the responsibility of Afghans.  U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced that he hopes America's combat mission will wrap up by then as his country's forces prepare for departure in 2014.

Coming in the immediate wake of a leaked Pentagon report that concludes the Taliban, with Pakistan backing, will again rule once infidel forces leave, it's hard to accept Panetta's announcement is entirely coincidental.  He said U.S. forces will remain 'combat ready' so they'll be able to defend themselves.


Beijing York said...

Has anyone done a tally of all the deaths yet - civilians, military (NATO, Afghan, Pakistan), Taliban, terrorists, enemy combatants, private mercenaries? All this for what?

And then there is Iraq were reports now have civilian Iraqi deaths at a million (and that probably doesn't include deaths attributed to the pre-invasion sanctions).

Afghanistan was in civil strife and a mess when Bush first bombed them. Iraq was a totally different story. It's been reduced to chaos and rubble, like Afghanistan.

I wonder how many generations it will take to brand the US and its allies as heinous war criminals in western history books?

The Mound of Sound said...

I think the very nature of Afghanistan and its miserable wars would render any accurate tally impossible.

We in the West don't get branded 'war criminals' unless 1) we fight another Western country and 2) we get outright defeated.

Leaving aside Grenada and Panama, what was the last real war the Americans won? Vietnam was a loss, Korea a draw. Desert Storm was at least a partial win but, save for that, it must have been the defeat of Japan in 1945.

It's as Bacevich wrote in this month's Harpers. American strength of arms can no longer deliver sustained victories. And America's adversaries know it.