Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Trump's flip flop on Afghanistan betrays his anti-interventionist constituency

Source: PanAm Post
by Ben Jackson

"During the uncharacteristically eloquent introduction of his speech last Monday night, Trump acknowledged that the policies he was about to outline would go against his campaign promises. 'Historically I like following my instincts,' he said. 'But all my life I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.' With politicians, it can be tricky to see past the diplomatic and duplicitous exterior and identify what they are actually trying to say. Trump is no exception to that rule, for all of his talk of being a fresh alternative to career politicians. It seems he was trying to say that he was more concerned with winning the election during the campaign, and not in showcasing his priorities or intentions. What his priorities and intentions truly are, I am sure I do not know." (08/24/17)


The Donald's pathetic Afghan flip-flop

David Stockman

Source: Antiwar.com
by David Stockman

"In essence, the Washington military machine has been pounding Afghanistan back to the stone age for 17 years for no logical or rational reason except revenge and the fact that unless it is outright defeated, as in Vietnam, the American military machine rarely leaves that lands its occupies (e.g. Japan, South Korea, Germany etc.) Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s 35 million citizen have been reduced to a life of misery, destitution, violence and constant warfare. … The sheer insanity of the occupation policy that the Donald has now embraced is perhaps best illustrated by this juxtaposition. During 2017 DOD will spend nearly $45 billion on a war to kill and destroy alleged enemies in a country that has only $19.5 billion of GDP. Even then, the Taliban controls upwards of 40% of the country, including much of the Pashtun/Sunni heartland." (08/24/17)


Trump out of touch with reality on Afghanistan

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, but don't worry: President Donald Trump is not going to be rushed out the door after a mere 16 years. In fact, he refuses to be tyrannized by any schedule. 'A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions,'" he announced. 'America's enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.' Afghanistan, the longest conflict in American history, has been called 'the forever war.' Now it's the forever-and-a-day war. The speech was a model of bold phrases and grand promises unsupported by any specifics that would indicate the president has any idea how to make his vision into reality." (08/24/17)


Afghanistan and NATO

Source: Libertarian Party
by Nicholas Sarwark

"Libertarians believe in self-defense. If America is attacked, then we have the right to defend ourselves. But too often American presidents have pursued military action that meddles in other countries that have not attacked the United States. Other times, American presidents use the saber rattling of various despots as an excuse to use military action. Libertarians believe that using our brave men and women as pawns is inappropriate and immoral, so we oppose military action that is not truly defensive in nature. The Libertarian Party also advocates a restructuring our country’s interactions with the world." (08/22/17)


The Taliban tried to surrender and the US rebuffed them. Now here we are.

Source: The Intercept
by Ryan Grim

"For centuries in Afghanistan, when a rival force had come to power, the defeated one would put down their weapons and be integrated into the new power structure — obviously with much less power, or none at all. That’s how you do with neighbors you have to continue to live with. This isn’t a football game, where the teams go to different cities when it’s over. That may be hard for us to remember, because the U.S. hasn’t fought a protracted war on its own soil since the Civil War. So when the Taliban came to surrender, the U.S. turned them down repeatedly …. They wanted more terrorists in body bags. The problem was that the Taliban had stopped fighting, having either fled to Pakistan or melted back into civilian life. Al Qaeda, for its part, was down to a handful of members. So how do you kill terrorists if there aren’t any? Simple: Afghans that the U.S. worked with understood the predicament their military sponsors were in, so they fabricated bad guys." (08/22/17)


Afghanistan and the costs of war

Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

"In a rare moment of self-reflection, President Trump admitted in his address that he was skeptical of becoming more deeply involved in Afghanistan. And prior to taking office, Trump repeatedly said the United States should leave altogether. Yet he went along with the military’s preferred option of an increased troop presence, while pursuing more or less the same objectives the Obama administration did. On his Washington Post blog, political scientist Daniel Drezner looks to the sorry state of civil-military relations under Trump. As Drezner notes, the U.S. military is generally reticent about starting new wars, but it is committed to winning them — often through heavy application of firepower — once involved. With Trump’s limited knowledge of military affairs, the administration’s lack of civilians with expertise in defense and foreign policy, and the coterie of generals in key national security decision-making positions, it was always likely the president would defer to the military’s preferred strategy." (08/22/17)


Afghanistan: Under the Constitution, it isn't the president's decision to make

Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey

"Article I Sec. 8 delegates to Congress the power to 'declare war.' Article II Sec. 2 designates the president 'Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.' These two roles stand separate and distinct from one another. Congress makes the decision to enter into war. Only then does the president have the authority to prosecute a war, and only within any limits Congress places on him. The designation of commander in chief does not place any authority to take America into war or initiate any offensive military expeditions in the hands of the president." (08/22/17)


Sixteen years on, it's past time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan

Source: The Hill
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

"he Trump administration is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan and, by doing so, keeping us involved even longer in a 16-year-old war that has long since gone past its time. The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war. It’s time to come home now." (08/21/17)


Donald Trump's new Afghanistan plan promises more killing — and little else

Source: The Intercept
by Alex Emmons

"President Donald Trump was set to announce an escalation of 4,000 troops in Afghanistan during a primetime address Monday night where he planned to clarify his policy on the 16-year war he inherited from the two previous presidents. Trump, however, did neither. His audience was left with nothing but excuses and contradictions. Trump refused to say how many troops he was sending, or set any goals or timetables for their withdrawal. 'We are not nation-building again,' he stressed, boasting that 'we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.' Amid all the contradictions, though, Trump did make one aspect of his policy absolutely clear: The U.S. would kill more people in Afghanistan." (08/22/17)


Trump's Afghanistan speech: Same sh*t, different president

Source: Sky News [UK]

"US President Donald Trump has promised his country is 'not nation building again' as it renews its commitment to Afghanistan. Speaking in Arlington, Virginia, Mr Trump said: 'Nearly 16 years after the September 11 attacks … the American people are weary of war without victory and nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan.' He said the US 'must seek an honourable and enduring outcome worthy of the sacrifices that have been made' and that the 'consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable.' 'A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists … would instantly fill just as happened before September 11,' he said. But Mr Trump, who was widely expected to announce an increase in 4,000 troops, said he would 'not talk about numbers of troops or plans for further military activities.'" (08/21/17)