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Thursday, 03 May 2012 23:12

One Year After Bin Laden’s Death, Bring the Troops Home Now

Written by  Kevin Martin and Michael Eisenscher | Common Dreams

Today marks one year since the death of Osama bin Laden. The CIA estimates there are fewer than 100 al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. Since ‘getting Bin Laden’ and defeating al Qaeda were the stated reasons the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, President Barack Obama should use the anniversary to announce the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Instead, his administration has negotiated an agreement with President Hamid Karzai’s government for a U.S. presence in that country until at least 2024, ten years past the supposed date for withdrawal of U.S. combat troops. The U.S. and its NATO allies are supposed to commit to ongoing training of the Afghan military, as well as development aid. Obama swept into Afghanistan in the middle of the night to sign the agreement, but full details of the agreement remain secret.

U.S. troops would also still have a limited combat role, namely Special Forces counter-insurgency operations, according to a draft proposal described by Admiral Bill McRaven, the head of U.S. special operations. A more detailed security plan will surely be discussed at the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago.

If the agreement covers a ten year period, commits U.S. military forces for training and counter-insurgency (which means inevitable combat), obligates the U.S. to continue providing billions of taxpayer dollars annually in aid (essentially bankrolling the entire Afghan government and military), and posits support for any number of "nation-building" measures, isn't this in fact a treaty, subject to U.S. Senate ratification, rather than an intergovernmental memorandum of agreement?  [Read complete article at Common Dreams]

Read 3187 times Last modified on Friday, 04 May 2012 03:50

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