Leaving Afghanistan: end of the surge

From the White House last night, US President Barack Obama announced plans for 30,000 troops to leave Afghanistan over the next year, signaling a beginning to the end of a decade-long war.

While 30,000 is the number that Obama is going with, is it the right one? The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano agrees that this plan for withdrawal is the beginning of the end but adds, “I Don’t think the end is going to be pretty.”

RT host Adam Kokesh says the president’s decision isn’t necessarily a military one, but more a reflection of the growing political pressure. As public opinion against the war is at a high, the voice of America is amassing on Obama’s shoulders as he starts to figure out a way out of the war. Kokesh says Americans are “wearing thin” of the whole ordeal and are realizing that the money being spent on the war could be better spent back in the States.

Both Kokesh and Carafano say that there is no reason for America to be in Afghanistan, but reveal that a withdrawal might just lead to chaos in the Middle East after troops take off. Kokesh says the whole idea of a military presence in Afghanistan is “really kind of ridiculous,” especially after bin Laden’s death which, as he points out, didn’t even happen in Afghanistan. Carafano agrees, but equates Obama’s plan as just “walking away.”

“I’m afraid,” he adds, however, “that if we walk away like the way the president outlined, in 2014 we will be right back to September 10, 2001.” Just because troops will be out of Afghanistan, he says, doesn’t mean that terrorism will be.

“The sad thing,” says Carafano, “is that there is no do over.”