Has Obama Finally Thrown the Towel
0 comments | by Usman Khalid
It appears that President Obama has decided that the US must cut its losses and withdraw from Afghanistan . What will it leave behind? A civil war? A clandestine war between India and Pakistan ? Both? The USA does not have much time or many options. A lot depends on the terms on which Pakistan facilitates a smooth exit and protect residual US presence after exit The Obama administration, facing a tough election this year, has taken the fiscally, militarily and politically correct decision to end the no-win, $1 trillion Afghan war begun by George W. Bush. The withdrawal dates for roughly 40,000 Nato troops is uncertain, though France just announced an accelerated pull out. The fate of an estimated 80,000 US-paid mercenaries in Afghanistan is also uncertain. The US will continue strikes by drones, warplanes, and attacks by Special Forces from a small number of fortress bases. Pakistan will be cajoled or bribed by Washington to keep its forces active against Pashtun tribal fighters. Washington and London will keep issuing cheery claims about the success of the Afghan war. But the hard truth cannot be avoided.