Code 67055
PublishDate: Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:28

Get out of Afghanistan now

Of the 2,144 Americans who have died in Afghanistan, 1,575, or 73 percent, were killed on Obama’s watch.

President Barack Obama reminded Americans in his speech on the Syria crisis that he was elected to end wars, not start them.

Afghanistan would be a good place to apply his war ending prowess. This is the war that candidate Obama called the right war, and assured us he knew how to win it.

And it’s now his war. He’s been president for five of the eight years America has been fighting and dying in that miserable pile of rocks. Of the 2,144 Americans who have died in Afghanistan, 1,575, or 73 percent, were killed on Obama’s watch.

The war has been drifting along toward the end of 2014 withdrawal date Obama set, with no strategy for and no hope of winning. In the meantime, the president seems to have set Afghanistan aside, rarely talking about a conflict that is still claiming America’s sons and daughters.

In last winter’s State of the Union address, Obama got around to discussing Afghanistan, briefly, two-thirds of the way in, boasting, “we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al-Qaida.”

Syria exposed that al-Qaida isn’t nearly defeated. And the Taliban, the real trouble-makers in Afghanistan, aren’t either.

As for completing our mission, what is it? Obama said in a January radio address the war in Afghanistan “is winding down,” a phrase he repeats often. Winding down to what?

Initially, the goal was to leave behind a self-policing Afghanistan with al-Qaida eradicated and the Taliban subdued. It’s not happening.

This summer, Obama engaged in a nasty exchange with Afghan President Hamid Karzi during a video conference to discuss U.S. presence and financial support post-withdrawal. Afterward, the president floated the “zero option” — getting out of Afghanistan entirely, and at a faster pace, leaving no peace-keeping force, just as he did in Iraq.

That means Afghanistan will likely follow the Iraqi path of receding into chaos.

If that’s the case, why stay another day?

In February, 34,000 of the 63,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to pull out, making it unlikely any additional significant progress will be made in stabilizing Afghanistan.

Militants in Afghanistan are crafting plans for what they expect will be a civil war once the U.S. leaves, according to the Associated Press.

We must admit the truth: When we come home at the end of next year, Afghanistan will return to the same internal feuding and killing that has marked its history and we will have accomplished nothing.

Obama must do more than make self-satisfied pronouncements about the war winding down. It isn’t winding down for the 91 Americans killed there this year, the latest a 22-year-old soldier from Danbury, Conn., who hoped to come home and be a cop.

The president claims to be a war ender. (Detroit News)

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