The U.S. Draw Down from Afghanistan – Success, Retreat or Rethink? 1

It has been evident under Obama’s administration that the U.S. policy for Afghanistan has somewhat lacked vision and authority. The Taliban have spread over vast swathes of land that it previously did not have access to and the Afghan forces are clearly not ready to take on the mantle of ‘peace’ for the region.

This lack of focus is symbolised by the fact that it’s no longer listed as one of the “Top Issues” on the DoD’s website and the budget overview for FY2017 does not separate out the Afghan War section as it used to.

The DoD state that the U.S. will sustain up to 9,800 troops through 2016 and draw down to 5,500 in 2017. A brave manoeuvre considering that Afghanistan has not become what the U.S. had planned for it, a secular democratic country. Nor have they successfully rid the region of their aspiration for Islam and Sharia.

The U.S. have cut their defence Overseas Contingency Operations funds from $114 billion to $44 billion in 2016 and a request for $42 billion in 2017. However this figure is still surprisingly high for less than 10,000 men that are not engaged in combat.

It is naive for one to think this shrinkage in overseas spending is a sign of the U.S. retreating and protecting their financial interests. Rather, the new policy to lead from the back has granted the U.S. more fruits than it’s previous republican hammer. The buck-passing policy to hand over the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the U.S. through their agents, allies and vassals keep America’s economy flowing while their are allies engaged in wars that’ll no doubt deplete them financially and militarily. One only needs to look to the case of Russia in Syria and Ukraine, or now to the E.U. in Libya.

The U.S. also slashed its military manpower from 98,000 in Afghanistan to 10,000 in 2015. The attempt to train, equip and direct the Afghan army fell flat on its face. They also reduced its air supply sorties from 345,000 in 2011 to a mere 4675 in 2015, aiding the Afghan army when it was only in a desperate situation.

So what has all this achieved?

  1. The American public got what they want. A tactical retreat from Afghanistan – sending their soldiers home. This may be seen as a plus for Obama, for now, until the rise of ISIS in Afghanistan which is inevitable (see links below).
  2. U.S. are able to dictate the region covertly through terror networks, similar to the case of Turkey aiding ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
  3. No rules apply for ISIS and therefore the American Army are not tied down to what types of weapons or tactics to employ.
  4. Sectarianism will become the driving factor to disunite the Muslims further.
  5. The concept of Khilafah and Jihad will become distorted in the minds of the Muslims in Afghanistan.
  6. The total destruction of the land will force the people into submission, to choose the lesser of the two evils. Secular democracy. Similar to Syria’s federalised state to come.

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