One only has to read the Pentagon’s progress report on the Afghanistan war effort released last Monday to understand how pointless it is to keep 68,000 American troops there any longer. The mounting evidence makes it clear that they should be pulled out as soon as it can be done safely, instead of waiting until the end of 2014, the date set by the United States and NATO.
Yet the White House is now signaling that the decision on how quickly they will come home will not be made before next year.
The United States has spent a decade and $39 billion to recruit, train and equip a 350,000-member Afghan security force, including the army and police, that is supposed to defend the country when the Americans leave. President George W. Bush gave the effort short shrift when he shifted focus to Iraq. But even after President Obama’s considerable investment, the Pentagon says that only one of the Afghan National Army’s 23 brigades is able to operate independently, without air or other military support from the United States and NATO. Continue reading.