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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Obama's Afghanistan Speech: Admitting the Limits of American Power!

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'Starting Drawdown From Position of Strength'

In November of 1986, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the Politburo about his country's futile war in Afghanistan. The conflict had already dragged on for six years, Gorbachev told his comrades, but no end was in sight. "In general, we haven't found the key to resolving this problem," the communist leader explained, according to Gregory Feifer's book, The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan. "We need to finish this process as soon as possible." That was especially true in a nation whose economy was groaning from the expense of the war. Soon after, Gorbachev informed American officials that the Soviets would begin their exit from Afghanistan.
Gorbachev's retreat from Central Asia was an admission of defeat and a sign that the Soviet era was coming to a close. For Barack Obama and the United States, the picture is not so dire. Not quite. But the president's announcement last night that he will withdraw 33,000 American troops from Afghanistan by next summer, and that the U.S. combat mission there will end by 2014, was also an admission about waning power. Obama understands that, after 10 years of war and an economic catastrophe, America has neither the will nor the resources to continue an all-out fight in Afghanistan. When George W. Bush fought on stubbornly to rescue Iraq, he had the luxury of a relatively healthy economy and a national debt that Obama would envy. But America can no longer win at all costs. The bills are stacking up, the patience is running out. Obama sent a message when he promised steady draw down without any reference to "conditions on the ground": Maybe this time failure is an option. (Watch "Obama Addresses the Nation on Afghan Withdrawal.")

With all the might America has at its disposal, it couldn't wage a long-drawn war, against a guerrilla-type terrorist force in the Afghan terrain and the expense of US$ 2.00/- Billion, per Week is too much for an already recession-facing USA.

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