U.S. to Keep 9,800 Troops in Afghanistan, but Why?
Obama is putting off the full withdrawal until the end of his presidency, supposedly to "finish the job". However when the U.S. is funding and arming Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria we have to ask what that job actually is.
28 May, 2014
For some time now the Obama administration has been saying that the U.S. was about to begin a full withdrawal from Afghanistan; not because they wanted to, but because Afghan President Hamid Karzai's has refused to sign a bilateral security agreement authorizing a continued U.S. presence. However, now that both candidates on the ballot for next month’s elections in Afghanistan, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, have indicated that they will sign the accord, the full withdraw has been postponed.
Yesterday Obama announced that 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in the country, and that the full withdrawal will be rescheduled for 2016, the year he is to leave office.
According to the White House the remaining troops will be tasked with supporting Afghan forces, and with counter terrorism operations against the "remnants" of al Qaeda. Ironically this announcement comes as the U.S. has begun increasing the support and training of militants in Syria. Though U.S. officials have attempted to present the groups that are receiving this support as moderate, their leadership has publicly stated that they regularly carry out joint operations with Al-Qaeda and do not consider them to be an enemy.
In that context the actual purpose of the continued military presence in Afghanistan is unclear. How can the U.S. justify the occupation of one country as necessary to finish off Al-Qaeda, while at the same time funding and arming Al-Qaeda affiliates in another country? Never mind, We've always been at war with Eastasia.