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View Diary: Afghanistan, let's just get the hell out (57 comments)

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  •  Yep, looks pretty much a done deal now. 2024 (6+ / 0-)

    or forever, whichever comes last.  They apparently have reached an agreement of 10-15K troops, who knows how many contractors, 8-9 air bases giving them control of all the provinces except maybe one, continued night raids and drone strikes.
    Troops will still be coming home in body bags from Afghanistan after 2014.
    So we got another thing to demand from the pols next election year.  
    This should be big news for the "liberals".  

    "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 03:22:47 PM PST

    •  I don't think it is a done deal yet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, allenjo

      Washington is insisting on a response before the end of the year but Karzai has said it would only be done after elections in April.

      Afghanistan rebuffs US demand on signing security deal

      Afghanistan on Friday rebuffed a US demand to sign a highly anticipated security pact as soon as possible, insisting the document must wait until after next year’s presidential election.

      Washington warned Kabul on Thursday to act quickly to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), with senior officials hinting that delaying beyond the end of this year could mean no post-2014 US troop presence.
      ...
      The White House on Friday repeated its call for the pact to be signed by the end of the year.

      “We’ve made clear that it’s imperative that we do it as soon as possible, and further delay is not practical nor tenable,” said spokesperson Jay Carney.

      Karzai had said the pact currently under consideration by a loya jirga, a meeting of tribal chieftains, could only be signed “when our elections are conducted, correctly and with dignity”.

      His spokesperson Aimal Faizi stood firm on the issue on Friday.

      “Security, peace and good elections are key to the signing of the BSA,” Faizi told AFP.

      “Let’s wait and see what will the loya jirga decide on the document. If approved, as the president said, it will be signed after elections.”
      ...

      We should know Sunday if the loya jirga approved the deal. It they do, Washington will probably resort to some arm twisting to get the deal signed ASAP.
      •  I'm being pessimistic. Apparently we shall (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, allenjo, corvo

        see fairly soon.  I don't see the same conditions as were present in Iraq.  

        "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 03:57:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Billions of dollars at stake here. This kind of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, allenjo, lostinamerica

          cash can purchase a lot of agreement. Most of the members of parliament as well as the warlords have been pocketing tens of millions of the aid money coming into the country. They may not want for this cash cow to end soon.

          •  Exactly. Plus the opium industry now is in (4+ / 0-)

            full swing.

            "It is easier to pass through the eye of a needle then it is to be an honest politician."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 04:09:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh... 30% increase year on year. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allenjo, BigAlinWashSt, corvo

              They may just outstrip global demand this year. Of course the solution to that would be reduced prices and increased purity.

              I wonder how much of the CIA's dark money comes from this source?

            •  cost of each US soldier to double to over 2M (2+ / 0-)

              and we are paying for our troops to protect Afghan opium fields.

              The average cost of each U.S. troop in Afghanistan will nearly double in the last year of the war to $2.1 million, according to a new analysis of the Pentagon’s budget.

              For the past five years, from fiscal 2008 through 2013, the average troop cost had held steady at roughly $1.3. million. But the Pentagon’s 2014 war budget would dramatically increase that figure. The added cost, argue Defense Department officials, is a reflection of the price of sending troops and equipment back home in the drawdown.

              http://www.defenseone.com/...

              For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

              by allenjo on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 05:00:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  The CIA handing out millions in cash buys a lot of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Claudius Bombarnac

            votes, in one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

            Transparency International just released its annual Corruption Perceptions Indexon the perceived level of public sector corruption in 176 countries around the world, and once again, Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan rank as most corrupt, with scores of 8.
            Afghanistan ranks as one of the most corrupt countries, and it seems bribes and fraud permeate nearly every level of life there. One Afghan in seven paid a bribe in 2010, and the average bribe is equal to one third of the average Afghan salary. A recent report found that high-level political interference and institutional failures thwarted efforts to probe the 2010 collapse of Afghanistan’s Kabul Bank, recover hundreds of millions of dollars from fraudulent loans and prosecute the people who profited, the Washington Post's Pamela Constable reported. The Transparency International authors concluded last year, "Corruption, weak institutions and a lack of economic development pose a fatal threat to the viability of Afghanistan," and it seems the situation this year is sadly no different.

            For our fallen solders who come home from Afghanistan in a coffin to Dover, "God bless the cause for which they died."

            by allenjo on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:46:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. The only control Obama has over the Afghans (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allenjo

              is purchasing their favor. Graft and corruption are the rule, not the exception there.

              With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan

              KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

              All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

              “We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”
              ...
               Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.

              “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”
              ...

              I wonder if the US can afford to pay +$75 billion/year on Afghanistan for the next decade or more? The one good aspect is that it should put a crimp on other military "humanitarian" interventions around the world.

              It'll be interesting to see who will get the lucrative contracts for resource extraction in the coming years.

              As America fills coffins, China fills coffers.

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