This past week the NATO coalition led by the United states announced the end the combat mission in Afghanistan after 12 years. About 10,000 USA troops will remain to train the Afghan army and for counter terrorism.
This week the Taliban has announced they won the war and they have continued with attacks and control a fair amount of rural territory according to reports.
The mission when we went in back in 2002 was to destroy bin Laden and al Qaeda. al Qaeda is apparently not very active there any longer but the Taliban who had the government when we invaded and had allowed al Qaeda to operate there is still controlling parts of the country and running a guerilla war. Their leaders have never been caught and they have been a group while in and out of power that wants to set the country back from modernism and also to very limit women and limit religion their one interpretation.
Obama says it is the "end of combat operations". Will this be a statement that comes back to haunt him like Bush "mission accomplished" in Iraq? We are seeing us send more and more troops and flying bombing raids ion Iraq after Obama had said that was over in the past. ISIS is threatening and taking territory in Iraq and Syria and has many resemblances to Taliban and al Qaeda. They may well set their sites now on Afghanistan also since the USA is barely there and it is in their grand plan anyway for the caliphate they are trying to create.
Hopefully the Afghan army will be able to defend themselves and expand claiming Afghanistan but that has been one of goals or about 10 years and they never made real progress. Besides this continues to resemble Afghanistan from the 80s when the USSR was trying to manage it. I read the book on Afghanistan in the early 80s last year and it was amazing how as I turned the pages the similarities of 30 years ago to today. Bruce Amstutz wrote a really good history of it (Dr. Amstutz's son was a friend of mine in high school).
Hopefully we will not be drawn back in Afghanistan and they can achieve a peace and prosperity, but it does not look good.
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