LEAVING AFGHANISTAN (from Just Foreign Policy 12-17-10)
Afghanistan experts call for peace deal and exit strategy
Afghanistan experts with decades of experience in the country call on President Obama to change course and push for a peace settlement and exit strategy. Signers include: Scott Atran, Michael Cohen, Gilles Dorronsoro, Bernard Finel, Joshua Foust, Anatol Lieven, Ahmed Rashid, and Alex Strick van Linschoten.
Obama and Taliban
President Obama needs to assure a restless public and his political base that a withdrawal from Afghanistan is on track to begin by the deadline he set of next summer and that he can show measurable success before the next election cycle, the New York Times reports. The elephant in the room is that whatever the trajectory of the war, the Afghan government does not envision a defeat of the Taliban, but a negotiated peace. Unmentioned in the Administration's review is what the US may be looking for in such a deal, and what they are willing to do to bring that peace.
Germany, which has the third largest military force in Afghanistan, says it will start withdrawing its 4,800 troops as early as next year, the New York Times reports.
Majority of US Public for Withdrawal
The 60% of the public who now say the Afghanistan war has not been worth fighting match the 2005-9 average 60% of Americans who said the Iraq war was not fighting, ABC reports. Half of Republicans now say it's not been worth it. Americans overwhelmingly support the promised drawdown of troops next summer: 54% support it, while 27% say it should start sooner. Even among Republicans, just 24% support a slower start to the withdrawal process.
Simon Tisdall | Will the Afghanistan War Break Obama
Simon Tisdall, The Guardian
: "Barack Obama is suffering his own Vietnam moment, waging a war he can neither explain nor afford."
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