Since President Obama’s 2009 announcement of a ‘surge’ in Afghanistan that simultaneously announced the date of withdrawal, the western focus in Afghanistan has shifted to the exits.
The steady drizzle of bad news since then has reinforced this sense that it’s over, we’ve had enough and we’re leaving.
American and British troops quit Helmand in late October, basically ceding it to Taliban control. On Tuesday John Sopko, the head of the American auditor mechanism (SIGAR) said that efforts to promote economic growth in Afghanistan have ‘accomplished nothing.’
Given that it is not yet too late to avoid a repeat of Iraq, where hard-won gains were liquidated by the total withdrawal of western forces, it seems like an appropriate juncture to push back against this fatalism and despair.
Read the entire piece over at Left Foot Forward