Posts Tagged ‘Hamid Karzai’

What the meaning of “withdrawal” is

January 16, 2013

President Barack Obama wants to keep U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan after the official troop withdrawal, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai says “no.”

Hamid Karzai

Hamid Karzai

Obama said the Special Forces are needed to train Afghan police and militias to fight the Taliban.  Karzai said the presence of a residual American force would simply draw attacks.  The seems to settle it.  The training mission couldn’t possibly work without the cooperation of the Afghan government.

We had a similar situation with the withdrawal of ground troops from Iraq.  Obama wanted to keep a residual force there, but Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said any remaining Americans in Iraq must be subject to Iraqi law, which was a deal-breaker.

Recall that both Karzai and al-Maliki came to power in elections held under U.S. auspices.   I guess it is a tribute to the integrity of the elections that neither ruler is a complete U.S. puppet, and that both need to respond to public opinion.  But it also is an indication of the failure of U.S. efforts of nation-building in those two countries.

When the United States helped the Germans and Japanese rebuild their economies after World War Two, some people said the best thing that could happen to a country was to go to war with the US and lose.  That was not meant seriously, but I don’t think anybody would say that today, even as a joke.   I don’t think there are many people in the Middle East or Central Asia, no matter how tyrannical their governments may be, who hope for an American invasion and occupation.

Click on Afghans want withdrawal of village police trainers for the Washington Post article.  Hat tip to Kevin Drum.

Click on “We’re bombs and we’re here to help” for a pertinent comment by “B Psycho”.