Like fakebelieve end dates for combat sans the ancient way of war - stomping away til your enemy screams "God! Please! Stop!"
Kinda not much unlike the combat in AFPAK. As Great Satan's longest war ever, ebberdobby but the enemy is like rushing to split the AO and ignoring what 44 used to call the "necessary war"
Well, four short years later, by 44’s lights, Afghanistan is no longer the necessary war but a war to be ignored, a war to be “ended” regardless of the strategic consequences of doing so precipitously.
Of course, saying the war will end on schedule doesn’t make it reality—a fact Afghans know all too well. With the Taliban on their heels but not defeated, Pakistani intelligence releasing incarcerated Taliban back onto the streets, roadmaps being drawn up for “peace talks” that would allow hardcore Taliban officials into Afghan governing posts, sounds like a state headed toward Hobbes’s “war of all against all.
The tragedy is that this needn’t be the case. As limited an effort as the surge in Afghanistan has been, it’s had real success. In Helmand and Kandahar, previously key Taliban strongholds, American, Afghan, and allied forces have cleared insurgent bastions and defeated every attempt by the Taliban over the past year to regain their lost territory. But because the administration was determined to go “light” on the number of surge troops and then draw them down more rapidly than had been recommended by commanders, the original plan to tackle simultaneously the insurgent presence in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces was never executed.
Now, with the anticipated drawdown of the remaining troops over the next year, a full-on counterinsurgency effort in that region will never take place. In short, the insurgent cancer was going into remission but the White House, irrationally, wants to stop treatment.
Nor is it the case that Afghan security forces have not stepped up their game. When partnered with American and allied combat forces, Afghan troops have learned their trade and begun to fight well. However, they still lack the logistics, intelligence, and mobility capabilities needed to go it alone. Sustaining our combat and support efforts for just a few more years would ensure that when our combat teams do leave Afghanistan, there is a force in place that can effectively defend its own homeland.
Critics of the war like to point out that the Afghan conflict is the longest overseas war in American history—implying that it’s a hopeless case. Yet, for much of that time, the effort in Afghanistan was a holding action, with the war in Iraq eating up time, resources, and energy until the American surge and change in strategy in 2006-07 turned that conflict around. The nation might well be tired of war, but it’s only been a little over three years since President Obama announced his own surge and new strategy. When it comes to counterinsurgencies, a little patience goes a long way.
But this is not a patient president. The pattern for Iraq, Libya, and now Afghanistan has been basically the same. End American military involvement as soon as possible, and damn the consequences.
Pic - "Bellum omnium contra omnes"