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June 11, 2011
Obama is keeping under wraps a hush-hush plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan—and he hopes it will satisfy those pushing for a quick exit and the diehards determined to stay the course, Leslie H. Gelb reports exclusively.
By July 15, President Obama will unveil a plan to reduce U.S. forces in Afghanistan by upward of 30,000, but to withdraw them slowly under military guidance over 12 to 18 months, according to administration officials.
In sum, the quick exiters get the big 30,000 or so number, and the die-harders get one last year-plus at near full strength to weaken the Taliban. Ain’t democracy grand? Officials caution that since no announcement will be made for almost a month, and since Obama is still being battered from all sides, the projected withdrawal total and end dates could change somewhat. No one, not even Obama’s most intimate national-security aides—Tom Donilon, Denis McDonough, and Ben Rhodes—can be certain of their boss’ final calculations, but key officials feel confident that the president’s secret thinking will generally hold.
Nor should the president shy away from establishing the centrality of the U.S. economy in U.S. national security. Saving money in Afghanistan is nothing to run away from, as White House press secretary Jay Carney sought to do last week. “Obviously every decision is made with a mind toward cost,” he said, “but this is about U.S. national-security interests, primarily.”
Originally posted by manta78
Ok, now let's also work on getting the majority of our troops out of Japan and Germany. World War II has been over for more than sixty years, and those withdrawals alone will save billions of dollars each year.
edit on 6/12/2011 by manta78 because: (no reason given)
More Mercenaries Than Troops in Afghanistan
Of the $200,000,000,000.00 (200 billion dollars) spent on the War in Afghanistan each year, just over half is spent on private defense contractors. We have a completely volunteer military now and the numbers just are not sufficient to get the job done, or so we are told. More than half of all personnel fighting in Afghanistan are civilians and this trend appears to be the wave of the future (see graph below). War is no longer about what we think is right in the world and fighting against oppression for others in foreign countries, it is BIG BUSINESS, and that is what we are fighting to maintain.
What we have been told, all along, was our reason to be in Afghanistan was to catch Osama bin Laden. Well, we have done that, but our military chiefs and private contractors will now tell us that Pakistan is a threat and that there will be a replacement for Osama bin Laden. They will tell us that we must keep our presence there because al-Qaeda still has a presence there. They will continue to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers' money for this undertaking, and they will continue to borrow billions of dollars from countries like China to finance this war.