Failing to reach a security agreement, President Obama assured Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the United States is poised to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Originally the agreement was drafted to keep several thousand American troops stationed in Afghanistan to conduct training operations for Afghan police and military. However with the decreasing relations and trust between the two presidents, Obama has asked the Pentagon to be ready to execute a full and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan before the end of 2014. In an official White House statement, is has been declared the U.S. will not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
The war with Afghanistan is the longest war in United States history, stretching to almost thirteen years. Today, more than 33,000 U.S. servicemen are touring Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. According to NationalPriorities.org the cost of the Afghan war is $699,318,100,000 and counting, with some 2215 coalition casualties. The New York Times reported yesterday that 21 soldiers were killed asleep in their bunks, as Taliban insurgents overran an Afghan National Army Base. The security agreement would help limit these attacks by U.S. forces working with the Afghan Army and their security, who were apparently warned of the attack beforehand.
There are some developing discrepancies with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been reportedly while in Pakistan, meeting with Taliban leaders in clandestine fashion calling them his brothers. CNN reports Karzai has also been relaying to the public the Unites State has really done nothing positive for their country since U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. The Taliban continues to have strongholds in Afghanistan with support from Pakistani sympathizers. Karzai has been rumored to be anticipating a civil war after U.S. forces leave Afghanistan, similarly to what happened in 1989 when the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan. Following the Soviet Union’s withdrawal a civil war broke out that resulted in Afghanistan’s former president and his brother being brutally dragged, killed, and hung from a stoplight. Political scientists speculate that Karzai could be affiliated with the Taliban to avoid being on the wrong side of a civil war of bloodshed and violence, as United States officials are poised to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan. Pakistan senior officials have also supported the idea that a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan would plunge the country into a violent civil war, estimating that 30 percent of Afghan police and military forces would desert if the United States left the country.
Afghanistan’s economy is supported mostly by foreign aid, a 2009 GDP report measured Afghan GDP to be roughly $10 billion, 60 percent of it being foreign aid. The next largest piece of GDP production is the 30 percent “underground” or informal poppy cultivation and heroin production leaving only 1o percent, or $1 billion GDP to be actually produced by legitimate Afghan economic activities. The United States spends roughly $4 billion a month to protect a country who’s GDP is $1 billion.
There has been even more foundering with United States, Afghanistan and Taliban and the possibility for peace. According to the NY Times, an ambiguous report was released Sunday, concluding the Taliban has suspended talks with the United States who were aiming discussion at a prisoner exchange. The exchange was posed to trade 5 Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for a lone American prisoner held hostage by Taliban forces.
Afghanistan’s future is unclear, as the United States hold poised to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan if a security agreement can not be reached. With a war-cost exceeding the trillions, a death-toll constantly raising and civil war looming, Afghanistan continues to be a place of violence and civil unrest.
Editorial By Zane Foley