President Obama plans to announce Wednesday evening that he will order the withdrawal of 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan this year, and another 20,000 troops, the remainder of the 2009 “surge,” by the end of next summer, according to administration officials and diplomats briefed on the decision. These troop reductions are both deeper and faster than the recommendations made by Mr. Obama’s military commanders, and they reflect mounting political and economic pressures at home, as the president faces relentless budget pressures and an increasingly restive Congress and American public.
Wooeeee! Oh, wait.
So even under the most “aggressive” withdrawal plan the President is considering — one that he and media outlets will undoubtedly tout as a “withdrawal plan” (the headline on the NYT front page today: “Obama to Announce Plans for Afghan Pullout”) — there will still be “twice the number” of American troops in that country as there were when George Bush left office and Obama was inaugurated. That’s what “withdrawal” means in American political parlance: doubling the number of troops fighting a foreign war over the course of four years.
Assuming all 30,000 of the “surge forces” leave, 70,000 U.S. troops will remain. Well, there’s “leaving” and then there’s leaving. Moreover, as we are always told about such matters, all this is subject to “conditions on the ground” — which means only that the U.S. government will do whatever the hell it believes is required to maintain dominance and control. And, not at all by the way, Afghanistan is especially crucial to ongoing U.S. plans for geopolitical dominance; see this post, as well as the Robert Higgs article I excerpt: “CENTCOM’s Master Plan and U.S. Global Hegemony.” I therefore state, as I have many times before: WE ARE NOT LEAVING.
If any of you watch Obama’s Teleprompter reading on television feel free to post your observations. I’m gonna watch the rerun of the Giants 8-1 blowout loss on SCBA.