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Wheels. Coming Off. Afghanistan.

Posted by The Agonist on September 18th, 2012

From our partners at The Agonist

There goes pretty much the last shred of flimsy narrative saying the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is in any way an honorable almost-victory or will leave the nation a better, safer, place.

The US military has suspended joint operations with Afghan forces because of a collapse in trust after a surge in the number of Americans and other Nato soldiers killed by the men they are fighting alongside or training.

…American commanders said that joint operations on the ground will be suspended “until further notice” in a dramatic admission that the strategy to shift responsibility for fighting the insurgents to local forces has been deeply compromised by Afghan government soldiers and policemen killing 51 Nato soldiers in 36 attacks this year. At least 12 attacks were carried out last month alone, leaving 15 dead.

…The US army said it is “not walking away” from Afghan military units and will continue to advise them. But Nato troops will patrol with them only when specific approval is given by a regional commander.

Forget the talk about “Afghanistan could never be Switzerland”, as if there’s some middle ground between that and utter disaster Afghanistan could occupy post-occupation. Right now, it’s shaping up to be Lebanon 1975-1990 and worse. To so many in the DC beltway set, invasion and nation-building looked like such a good idea at the time – as did doubling down with the McCrystal/Obama COIN surge – but it was always going to be this way.

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