Early Exit From Afghanistan? By Cindy Cross
The time has finally come where Osama Bin Laden is dead. American’s openly rejoiced that the earth’s number one villain had been brought to justice for orchestrating one of the most heinous acts of violence against innocent civilians in American history.
Now that the celebrations are winding down, shouldn’t we consider an early withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan? The troops are tentatively scheduled to begin leaving in July, but why wait?
Some argue that the U.S. is making a huge tactical error by announcing our departure date. They argue that the enemy combatants can lay low and wait for us to leave before beginning a major offensive against the Afghan ‘army.’ What difference will this make to us? If we secretly left in the middle of the night—the result would be the same. Either way, Afghanistan has no inclination to care for itself.
From all appearances, the Afghan government never had any drive to ‘train’ their rag-tag security forces before the U.S. departed. Why put their own people in harm’s way when the American soldiers are willing to do it for them? Better us than them, seems like a good mantra for the 3rd most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International’s corruption index 2010 results.
Since 2001 the U.S. has given Afghanistan $52 Billion in aid. Buried in the news last year was the how the Afghan government was flying out more than $3 billion in cash in suitcases. When the story first hit the press, Afghan president Hamid Karzai blocked all corruption investigations of political aids--looks like the fox was guarding the hen house. And here we are nearly a year after the scandal, shoveling billions more into Karzai’s coffer.
The U.S. government website www.state.gov details information about Afghanistan. Under agriculture, opium is listed second after wheat production.
In 2007, Afghanistan had a bumper crop of opium and supplied 93% of the world’s heroin. When American soldiers invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 to topple the Taliban, we left the opium fields untouched.
With 1,427 American soldiers killed, 600,000 Americans addicted to heroin, and suitcases of money that could be going to American schools, isn’t it time to leave Afghanistan in the dust?