Secret pact reveals US troops stuck in Afghanistan until 2024
If you thought President Obama was ending the war in Afghanistan, think again. Your children will be fighting it in 2024 if the Pentagon has its way.
Maybe you thought we’d get out of Afghanistan this very year, the drawdown date President Obama set as he surged U.S. troops into the country in December 2009; or maybe you thought the Obama administration’s target for withdrawal might be the last day of 2014, that date certain of recent vintage for turning over U.S. and NATO combat duties to the Afghans.
According to The Telegraph in the UK, the Obama administration is now negotiating a “pact” with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai that could leave American military “trainers” — thousands of them — as well as special operations forces, and the U.S. Air Force settled into some of the enormous Afghan bases the Pentagon has built there until… 2024.
To put 2024 in perspective. It was 1979 when the U.S. embarked on its first Afghan war. If 2024 is truly the Afghan endpoint for Washington, [that is 45 years until] the last American soldier leaves. George W. Bush, the president who launched the war against the Taliban in 2001, will be 78; David Petraeus, the general who ran the Iraq and Afghan War, and then the CIA, will be 72.
And consider the cost of the war: $120 billion a year for the next 13 years – this does not include the money that Washington will be spending in 2024 and beyond to care for the war’s damaged veterans.
[Excerpt of article by Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com]