Some days there is so much material on the news that those of us who enjoy talking to the television are overwhelmed. Today is one such day. China, politics, the intelligence world, all are being commented upon. In addition, there is the ongoing saga of Syria and Egypt not to mention Afghanistan and the agreement that was signed last month by Presidents Obama and Karzai.
So which to pick first? I opt for Afghanistan since it has consumed American policy for over a decade and has taken the lives of young American Marines and soldiers as well as Navy Seals and CIA operatives. No branch of the US military or intelligence world is untouched by the money and bodies needed to maintain our policy in Afghanistan. The cynic in me wonders when we will stop pouring humans and money into a never-ending trough. History taught the Russians and the British that no matter what they did when they left, Afghanistan went back to its own self. What makes men and women sitting in Washington, D.C., think this time it will be different?
Although my character loves chaotic situations where she can practice her expertise in covert operations, it is not a situation that one wants to see continue. As an American who has been there and who knows people who have died there, I know this is true.
Unlike in Vietnam, there is not a ground surge to force this Administration to stop making long-term plans with the corrupt government. Most Americans don’t have loved ones fighting at the front. Our way of getting small sound bites of news does not encourage the full story from being told. It is unfortunate since the U.S. should be discussing how our money is spent and at this moment the estimate of what we spend each week in Afghanistan is $2 billion a week! Imagine what that could do to help solve our budget problems.
I know withdrawal cannot be done overnight. To protect our troops and civilians who are there, it must be gradual and well planned. It worries me though that perhaps the focus of the government is more toward how to save face in Afghanistan and not be accused of being defeated, rather than moving us efficiently out of the country. The reason I worry? Obama went to Afghanistan to sign a 10 year agreement in order to shore up Karzai and make him look important and powerful in the eyes of the Afghanis. His corruption is legendary and we should not be assisting his image anywhere.
It is a hard choice and I fully admit I am not sitting in a secure facility reading Top Secret documents, but being logical doesn’t require that. It seems though that being logical is something missing in the corridors of most of D.C.