Think it was a coincidence that ISIS was able to dominate Iraq right after we withdrew the last of our troops from the region? It only took three short years before Obama declared Iraq a “national emergency.”Well, not only do we have a new terrorist foe, an old one is back with a vengeance.
Remember the Taliban? They’re the guys that thought ISIS was too crazy for them (which I suppose is some kind of improvement).Well, Obama at least wised up a bit and decided last October to not withdraw the majority of troops from Afghanistan – and it’s not hard to see why. He only has his own foreign policy to thank for the decision.
As reported by the Washington Post:
With control of — or a significant presence in — roughly 30 percent of districts across the nation, according to Western and Afghan officials, the Taliban now holds more territory than in any year since 2001, when the puritanical Islamists were ousted from power after the 9/11 attacks. For now, the top American and Afghan priority is preventing Helmand, largely secured by U.S. Marines and British forces in 2012, from again falling to the insurgency.As of last month, about 7,000 members of the Afghan security forces had been killed this year, with 12,000 injured, a 26 percent increase over the total number of dead and wounded in all of 2014, said a Western official with access to the most recent NATO statistics. Attrition rates are soaring. Deserters and injured Afghan soldiers say they are fighting a more sophisticated and well-armed insurgency than they have seen in years.
As Afghan security forces struggle, U.S. Special Operations troops are increasingly being deployed into harm’s way to assist their Afghan counterparts. Since Nov. 4, four members of the U.S.-led coalition have been wounded in Helmand, said U.S. Army Col. Michael Lawhorn, a military spokesman. Officially, U.S. military personnel have a mandate only “to train, advise and assist” Afghan forces.
Remember how al-Qaida set up its base in Afghanistan? ISIS is already following suit. This could end up being a bigger cesspool than Syria and Iraq combined.But did you expect anything less from a president whose idea of victory is withdrawal?
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]