The Obama Administration Finally Pressures Afghanistan To Allow Almost 10,000 Troops To Remain In Country

200px-Non_Commissioned_Officers_of_the_Afghan_National_ArmyWhile the outgoing Afghan President continues to denounce the United States and praise China and Iran, the Obama Administration has been pressuring Afghanis to allow it to keep roughly 10,000 troops in the country with the obvious commitment to spend billions and billions more on the war. The agreement has now bee signed. This is being heralded as a long-awaited success for the Administration – a curious achievement for those who want us out of the country and money spent on badly needed domestic programs of education, science, and infrastructure.

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai signed the deal.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen declared that the United States and NATO “committed to help finance the Afghan security forces through 2017, to help Afghanistan to further strengthen its institutions, and to further develop our political and practical cooperation with Afghanistan through our Enduring Partnership.”

The situation is not without positive news. There was a successful election and a recent defeat of a Taliban surge.

46 thoughts on “The Obama Administration Finally Pressures Afghanistan To Allow Almost 10,000 Troops To Remain In Country”

  1. “It’s been more than two years since George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. and, although he was acquitted of murder a little more than a year ago, he certainly hasn’t left the spotlight. In addition to the road rage incident earlier this month, Zimmerman has managed to compile a weighty record of violent incidents, threats and sometimes simply bizarre behavior that tends to undermine his version of events on the night he shot Martin.

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  2. Leon Panetta has a new book coming out where he eviscerates Obama on Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and other incompetence.

  3. I’d normally not remark in response to “Annie”, however….

    What do you, Annie, think of my aversion to any troop involvement to ISIS/ISIL in Iraq or Syria?

    Am I nuts or what? I do really, honest Injun, think of your daughter, the Navy Corpsman, medic to USMC soldiers, as sampling the most venerable of all soldiers anywhere, ever….no one is more a mission from G-d than a medic in a fire fight….she walks above all of us, period.

    So be it. And thank you all very much.

  4. With everything I’ve just said…I am still not convinced that we should send one solitary soldier in to harms way against ISIL/ISIS in Iraq or Syria. It is a weird feeling, for me, with my background, that I’d rather we just opt out…and let those MF’rs kill themselves off until only a few are left standing. I just do NOT trust our executive leadership today, including those in the pentagon. Half arsed will certainly leave many of us dead.

    WTF, am I becoming a Rand Paul fan?

  5. Bill W said….

    … if our general purpose in Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya (and now Syria) is not to win hearts and minds, there is little good will that troops may be able to do that will effectively counter devastatingly poor preparation and choices by our “upper management”.

    Hearts and minds. Only the process advocated by USMC LTG Victor Krulak in Vietnam would work to do this (his CAP program) and actually does work to accomplish this if carried out full term….small unit, of ordinary light infantry, insertion in to small villages and towns for extended periods of time, to live and be part of the village life. MAC-V and establishment military generally do not like this mind-set. Today they might be persuaded, but the politicians block that pathway.

    The soldiers must go partially native. I know because I did it. The closest I’ve seen documented so far in these modern times is the documentary of “Outpost Restrepo” in the Korangal Valley in Afghanistan. Funny thing is that originally in Indo -China, we tried to do this with Operation Hot Foot which evolved in to White Star , in 1959-1960 (under Eisenhower) in Laos, and subsequently with Special Forces, under Kennedy, in the Mekong Delta are (originally Cochin China & at least half Khmer by ethnicity) where we were actually part of the native population and they believed it. A close friend of mind was one of the SF troopers in Operation White Star. I am in awe of him and his compatriots. The story of Col James (Nick) Rowe tells most of what you need to know….he was assassinated in the Philippines years later still doing what he believed in…supporting the local people. He never left the Army after his time (5 years) as a POW in the U-Minh forest. He stayed on the job. And died for it.

  6. Issac, you are wrong about American troops remaining in Iraq. The agreement had been done before Bush left. What do you think would have happened if Maliki had touched one of ours? Oops, shot Maliki! Obama wanted to “stop” a war. You don’t stop wars, you win them. Then you stay to keep them in line. Leaving troops in Afghanistan is a 180 for Obama, but media won’t mention that.

  7. Nixon: Pull Out Now- Like Your Father Should Have.
    – Bumper sticker in 1972

    My, how times have changed.

  8. Meanwhile, ISIS/ISIL has planned attacks on US trains and subways. Does anyone think they will ever be satisfied with their little patch of desert?

  9. Here is an article about the debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. It notes the original status of forces agreement. The salient point is:

    “Still, officials on both sides expected some American troops to remain to help protect and train the Iraqis with security threats to their border, waterways and airspace, the New York Times reported. Over the course of 2011, Obama scaled down the number of troops he thought should be in place to between 3,000 and 5,000.

    In the end, the breaking point was not over the size of a remaining force, but over Iraqi officials not wanting to grant American soldiers immunity under Iraqi law.

    The result: No combat troops remained in Iraq. About 200 people in the military are there now, and they report to the U.S. ambassador, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said.”

    How do we know that Obama, contrary to what he has said, actually did want forces to remain? He tried to get the new Iraqi government to extend immunity to US soldiers, but he refused. He was RIGHT to try to keep some soldiers there, as is usual in bases around the world. He was WRONG in that he failed to work this out with a conquered country. He was utterly and completely wrong not to leave behind a force strong enough to address the inevitable rise of a group like ISIS. None of us want another stupid war in that country, and nipping this in the bud at the very beginning would have prevented that.

    So, Bush’s SOF would not have precluded this military remnant. Multiple sources have confirmed this, and in addition Obama’s efforts to get immunity proved that he had wanted some boots to remain on the ground.

  10. Obama “bugging out” in Iraq because Maliki wouldn’t let him stay is simply not accurate. Obama left Iraq pursuant to the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) signed by George W. Bush. Bush even gave a press conference to brag about it. Shoes were thrown at him. GWB then gave probably his best line ever saying he had looked into the mans “sole.”

    Obama actually tried to stay, but al-Maliki refused to give immunity from the law to US forces and hired “contractors.”

  11. Where will the money come from? All the yelling and handwringing over the deficit, yet the war hawks cheer on more war, more war, endless war.

  12. Glad this topic is getting some light. We’ve signed up for another 10 years of war. More money for war, none for peace. US hegemony on the move.

  13. The terms of the agreement are meaningless if the policy is flawed, and the policy is flawed.

  14. Ah yes! The old if he wanted to if he could of. A few hundred billion? a trillion? Maybe more? No mention on the costs to US taxpayers or that Malicki was concerned only with consolidating his power – and making friends with Iran.

    I am no fan of Obama (and his re-entry into the middle east is a mess that should be handled by regional powers) or any politician for that matter, but the Iraq/Middle East mess squarely belongs to Bush and his lying pro-war/lets steal the oil minions (how could a group be so wrong and yet still be invited to Sunday morning news shows). Americans were tired of war and when presented with some semblance of the facts (something rarely seen in a today’s corporate controlled news media and certainly not seen in 2001/2002) have far less an appetite for war then appears evident on blogs.

  15. There may be actual needs for bases in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and certainly South Korea, even though at heart I am a non-interventionalist until things go beyond just “threatening American interests”.
    What I find harder to justify is our continued maintenance of enormous military bases and presences in countries such as Germany which is the largest economic power in Europe and quite capable of defending itself, especially since the Warsaw pac no longer exists. Yes, I know these enormous bases serve a purpose and are convenient for us, but we have a whole lot of military scattered over a whole lot of the world in countries that can do their own defending.

  16. I REALLY tire of this Iraq discussion. It’s like that awful Groundhog’s Day movie. People in the military and Obama Administration have said an agreement could have been reached IF OBAMA WANTED ONE. But, Obama chose to have a campaign slogan “I ended the war” instead of being a leader. We will be paying for the many failings of this failed presidency for decades.

  17. @rafflaw – correct that BUSH signed the Iraq SOFA. I am amazed that so many Americans are misinformed on this.

    @ Aridog – while we certainly hear of bad, thanks for pointing out the good PR our troops also do. That said, if our general purpose in Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya (and now Syria) is not to win hearts and minds, there is little good will that troops may be able to do that will effectively counter devastatingly poor preparation and choices by our “upper management”.

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