President Obama will leave 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of his presidency, he said Wednesday, an admission that he will fall short of a more significant reduction that was a cornerstone of his pledge to extract the U.S. from foreign ground wars.
Obama had announced in 2014 that he would cut the current level of just under 10,000 troops to 5,500 by the end of this year, but he was forced to back off from that goal as Taliban fighters run roughshod over impaired Afghan forces, launching attacks on civilian and NATO-coalition military targets and seizing land.
Leaving more troops than planned is probably the right move for now.
It’s hard to know what the right course is in Afghanistan. When we didn’t pack up in 2002-2003, Murdoc wondered what the upside was. Even if everything in Afghanistan went swimmingly, and there was no reason to think that it would, the end result would be Afghanistan. Other than bad guys that need knocking down once in a while, there’s nothing there.
Very few things that Obama promised have been accomplished. The two biggest accomplishments of his Presidency currently seem to be Obamacare and total withdrawal from Iraq. Seeing how those turned out, Murdoc thinks its safe to say that everyone should be glad he didn’t get much more done.