Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Is America's Longest War Really Over?

A ceremony in a secret location (secret due to fears of attack) has been held to declare an end to America's longest war, in Afghanistan. Well, really it was a declaration from NATO. Over 10,000 American troops remain until the end of 2016.

Despite the cartoon above in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, this opera is sadly far from over. The "fat lady" isn't onstage yet, much less singing a finale.

"If only it were possible to end a war unilaterally. But it's not. As the military likes to say, the enemy gets a vote. And there is no sign that the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups have any intention of ending their armed struggle to seize power in Kabul. Indeed, 2014 was the deadliest year of the war so far, with nearly 10,000 civilian casualties and some 5,000 deaths among the Afghan security forces — far more than the 2,224 Americans killed in Afghanistan in more than 13 years of combat since October 2001." (via)

Still, I'm all for NATO and the US getting out sooner rather than later. The future depends of so much on Afghanistan and what they want ... determining what they want and need is impossible to determine after their 3 decades of constant warfare. Perhaps reducing combat is truly the first step. But no fat ladies are singing a finale. 

Sadly, short-sighted and angry folks waging a political battle in Washington and in Kabul don't want this show to ever end.