The US “can’t leave” Afghanistan (or Iraq for that matter), simply because that would be “self-defeating”, in their own words.
This post inspired by LA Times op-ed: Yes, the U.S. can leave Afghanistan
Photo: President Obama announced this week that he will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017. (Ron Sachs / TNS)
Well, they could leave, as the LA Times posits in this article, but, in the LA Times words, “Only by owning up to the mindless failure of U.S. military efforts since 9/11 does it become possible to restore real choice.” and “Members of the national security establishment — have a common interest in diverting attention from just how badly they have screwed up.”
That’s not going to happen, voluntarily, because it would result in a huge loss of face, prestige and legitimacy, and no-one would believe anything they said, ever again. Oh, but wait, that’s pretty much the situation right now, isn’t it?
And, in any case, again to quote, the no-choice decision, “what President Obama describes as a ‘modest but meaningful extension of our presence’ … is a gesture designed to convey an appearance of purposefulness to an enterprise whose actual purpose has long since vanished in the mists of time.” …and, in my own words, “if it ever had a legitimate purpose”.