The US is involved in a slick game to hoodwink war weary Americans about its true intentions in Afghanistan. Despite repeatedly announcing that US combat mission in Afghanistan ended in December 2014, it is still continuing. The US has kept 10,000 or more troops and these are likely to remain in the country beyond 2016.
Tuesday March 24, 2015, 14:28 DST
President Ashraf Ghani is in Washington on his first official visit since assuming the top office in war-torn Afghanistan urging officials to extend US troop presence in his country beyond 2016. Ghani is pushing at an open door. This has been the US plan all along: his pleas are meant merely to add deflect criticism from the war weary American public. General John F. Campbell, Commander of US forces in Afghanistan had already called for continued US troop presence since the Afghan National Army was simply not up to the task.
As if on cue, new articles have suddenly started being circulated in the corporate-controlled media announcing that the promised withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is to be delayed indefinitely. While President Barack Obama promised this year to substantially reduce the 13,500 US military personnel currently stationed in Afghanistan, officials have now decided to keep most of those troops in place.
An Associated Press report on March 22 declared: “The pace of US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will headline Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's visit to Washington, yet America's exit from the war remains tightly hinged to the abilities of the Afghan forces that face a tough fight against insurgents this spring.”
The AP story elaborated: “Instead of trimming the current US force of 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of the year, US military officials say the administration now might keep many of them there well into 2016. Obama had said that after that, the US would only maintain an embassy-based security force in Kabul of perhaps 1,000 troops.”
US taxpayers have paid nearly $60 billion so far for the cost of US Afghan occupation. Washington was able to reduce its troop presence from 30,000 to 10,000 by funneling money into an Afghan police force that outsources its oppression on the local population as construction on the TAPI pipeline and the search for mineral wealth continues.
True to form, Obama has reneged on his promise to recall troops, as the Pentagon looks secure in its occupation of Afghanistan.
Recently, Member of the House of Representatives, Walter Jones called Afghanistan “a rat hole” into which the US was pouring money. “When that rat hole is Afghanistan,” he stated, “the billions are essentially without end.”
It is a pity that hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians have lost their lives in a campaign the US regards as a “rat hole”.
Despite the billions flushed away on the Afghan security and police forces, the results have not been what the US hoped. The US is now hoping to lure the Taliban to the negotiating table, courtesy Pakistan, and recruit them to provide military and security services for the US military. This would enable the US to pull the plug on the Afghan security forces, dropping numbers from the 10,000 or so currently on its payroll to 5,600. Ghani has said his country does not have the resources to pay for all 360,000 Afghan security personnel (army and police). He said of the $4 billion needed annually, he can only raise $750 million (still a huge sum) but this is what his Washington pilgrimage is all about.
We will soon learn how much money Uncle Sam is willing to sink into the “rat hole”.