The New York Times which led the campaign for the war against Iraq, complete with forged stories about WMDs (for which it later apologized) seems to be returning to its liberal roots. In a front page editorial, the NYT has proposed that its “time to pack up” and leave Afghanistan and end the war. It goes through a huge thesis on why this should be done sooner than later. The NYT clearly says that the US should quit Afghanistan in 2013 as presciently predicted by Rupee News.
Rupee News for years has been saying that the US will leave Afghanistan before the 2014 deadline, and we have also been saying that the US and NATO will not have an “enduring presence” in Afghanistan. Russia’s Putin has blatantly declared that the US, ISAF and NATO do not have a mandate beyond 2014 to stay. Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan all have opposed the US stay in Afghanistan.
The NYT in its editorial unambiguously says “it is time for United States forces to leave Afghanistan on a schedule dictated only by the security of the troops. It should not take more than a year. The United States will not achieve even President Obama’s narrowing goals, and prolonging the war will only do more harm.”
The NYT also is against what the Veep said during the VP debates“we are leaving Afghanistan in 2014, period. There is no ifs, ands or buts.”
The NYT shouts from the top of the podium “two more years of combat, two more years of sending the 1 percent of Americans serving in uniform to die and be wounded, is too long.”
The Obama Administration is hoping for a minimalist approach of a “logistical withdrawal.” The Editorial calls “the only final mission we know of, to provide security for a 2014 Afghan election, seems dubious at best and more likely will only lend American approval to a thoroughly corrupt political system.”
The NYT Times admits that “this conclusion represents a change on our part. The war in Afghanistan had powerful support at the outset, including ours, after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”
The most seminal statement after a litany of excuses is “But it is now clear that if there ever was a chance of ‘victory’ in Afghanistan, it evaporated when American troops went off to fight the pointless war in Iraq. While some progress has been made, the idea of fully realizing broader democratic and security aims simply grows more elusive. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 American troops have died in this war, more than 50 of them recently in growing attacks by Afghan forces, and many thousands more have been maimed. The war has now cost upward of $500 billion.”
The NYT may be responding to public pressure and states the truth when it says “Americans are desperate to see the war end and the 68,000 remaining troops come home.” It echoes the emerging consensus that the “enduring presence “could involve 15,000 or more American troops to carry out specialized training and special operations.”
The NYT opposes the “enduring presence” saying that “Mr. Obama, or Mitt Romney if he wins, will have a hard time convincing Americans that makes sense — let alone Afghans. The military may yet ask for tens of thousands more troops, which would be a serious mistake.”
The NYT does support spending the $16 billion pledged through 2015. We dont see that pledge being kept.
The NYT admits the collateral failure “the United States and its allies have tried nation building in Afghanistan, at least for the last four years. It is not working.”
The paper from New York has some strange advice for Us forces and displays its Pakistanphobia “The task is to pack up without leaving behind arms that terrorists want and cannot easily find elsewhere (like Stinger missiles) or high-tech equipment (like Predator drones) that can be reverse engineered by Pakistan or other potential foes. The military can blow those things up if it must.”
The secretary of defense, Leon Panetta isnt sure “whether the withdrawal would be front-loaded, or back-loaded, or how many troops would be needed to secure the election.”
- Experts say a secure withdrawal would take at least six months to a year.
- 45 percent of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are claiming disability benefits.
- A quarter of those veterans — 300,000 to 400,000, depending on the study — say they suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the prologue the NYT says what is obvious
“We are not arguing that everything will work out well after the United States leaves Afghanistan. It will not. The Taliban will take over parts of the Pashtun south, where they will brutalize women and trample their rights. Warlords will go on stealing. Afghanistan will still be the world’s second-poorest country. Al Qaeda may make inroads, but since 9/11 it has established itself in Yemen and many other countries.”
- America’s global interests suffer when it is mired in unwinnable wars in distant regions. Dwight Eisenhower helped the country’s position in the world by leaving Korea; Richard Nixon by leaving Vietnam; President Obama by leaving Iraq.
- None of these places became Jeffersonian democracies. But the United States was better off for leaving.
- Post-American Afghanistan is likely to be more presentable than North Korea, less presentable than Iraq and perhaps about the same as Vietnam. But it fits the same pattern of damaging stalemate.
- We need to exit as soon as we safely can.
NYT–you can say that again!