Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Never Mind The Drawdown: Taliban Talks, Not Troop Numbers, Are What Really Matter for Afghanistan"

Spencer Ackerman (WIRED):
All the D.C. punditocracy is playing a numbers game about President Obama’s troop reductions from Afghanistan. And once, again, that misses the whole point of the war’s next phase. What matters isn’t how many troops Obama withdraws this year, or next. It’s how the drawdown supports Taliban peace talks, the only real ticket out of the war.

Our sources tell us that if the president has even settled on a number to unveil in a Wednesday night speech, he’s not sharing it very widely. Still, the Los Angeles Times confidently reports that he’ll remove 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, with the remaining 20,000 surge forces to follow by 2012. The New York Times and the Washington Post are more circumspect, reporting that the White House is still debating how to structure the drawdown.

Notice that doesn’t even end the 2009 Afghanistan surge, let alone the war. Here’s why. MORE...

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