And so this endless, pointless bloodletting, with no goal and impossible rules of engagement, draining untold trillions from the U.S. economy and costing countless lives, will continue. Apparently the Afghan military and police will need the U.S. troops for target practice beyond the original departure date.
“US signals likely delay in troop pullout from Afghanistan,” AFP, February 21, 2015 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
President Barack Obama’s new Pentagon chief said Saturday the United States was seriously considering slowing the pace of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan after talks with Afghan leaders in Kabul.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s comments offered the clearest sign yet that Washington was ready to delay the closure of some bases and retain more troops on the ground after appeals by Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani and advice from commanders.
To safeguard “hard-won” progress, Obama “is considering a number of options to reinforce our support for President Ghani’s security strategy, including possible changes to the timeline for our drawdown of US troops,” Carter said.
“That could mean taking another look at the timing and sequencing of base closures to ensure we have the right array of coalition capabilities,” he said at a joint news conference with Ghani.
Apart from troop numbers, the United States and its allies would need to make “long-term commitments in resources, equipment and other support” to ensure the success of the Afghan forces, he said….