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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 4:13 PM

"Come Hell or High Water" Promise Morphs Into "Infinity and Beyond"

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In 2010, vice-president Joe Biden publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.”

In a few short months, 2014 will be gone. Are US troops out of Afghanistan? Nope. Iraq? Nope. Instead, we have troops in Syria.

Political Promises

Political promises should never be believed.

Today the US signed an extension allowing US forces to remain in Afghanistan until "at least" 2024.

At Least Until 2024

The Guardian reports a new Afghanistan pact means America's Longest War Will Last Until at Least 2024.

The longest war in American history will last at least another decade, according to the terms of a garrisoning deal for US forces signed by the new Afghanistan government on Tuesday.

Long awaited and much desired by an anxious US military, the deal guarantees that US and Nato troops will not have to withdraw by year’s end, and permits their stay “until the end of 2024 and beyond.”

The entry into force of the deal ensures that Barack Obama, elected president in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, will pass off both the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor. In 2010, his vice-president, Joe Biden, publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.”

Under the Bilateral Security Agreement’s annexes, the US military will have access to nine major land and airbases, to include the massive airfields at Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar, staging areas not only for air operations in Afghanistan but the US drone strikes that continue across the border in tribal Pakistan.

The additional bases – in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Helmand, Gardez and Shindand – ensure the reach of the US military throughout Afghanistan.

US defense leaders greeted the signing of the accord with enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm of Defense Leaders Soars

Opium Connection

To help highlight the absurdity of US policy in Afghanistan, please consider U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town
KABUL, Afghanistan — The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.

From Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal on down, the military’s position is clear: “U.S. forces no longer eradicate,” as one NATO official put it. Opium is the main livelihood of 60 to 70 percent of the farmers in Marja, which was seized from Taliban rebels in a major offensive last month. American Marines occupying the area are under orders to leave the farmers’ fields alone.
Opium Production at Record High

That story was from 2010. An article from January of 2014 highlights the "success" of US opium strategy: Afghan opium production on the rise despite U.S. troops, inspector says
Citing the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Sopkp said the cultivation of poppy plants — used to make opium and its derivative drugs such as heroin — is greater today than in 2001 when the United States invaded Afghanistan.

Indeed, he said it’s the highest in modern history.
Afghanistan Absurdities

  1. US troops protect the Afghanistan poppy harvest to aid local farmers in the battle against the Taliban.
  2. That battle has been so "successful" that the Taliban Storms Afghanistan and is on the march towards the capital.
  3. Meanwhile, drug agents attempt to intercept heroin before it hits the US.
  4. The effort to stop smuggling pushes up the price of heroin to the explicit benefit of drug lords who do get some of it through.
  5. Those drug lords are apt to be the Taliban.
  6. Drug money goes to buy weapons for the Taliban.
  7. To counteract the rise of the Taliban, we train "moderates" to fight the Taliban.
  8. We also give weapons to "moderates" to fight the Taliban.
  9. Unfortunately, we cannot successfully identify moderates. Many US weapons fall into the hands of the Taliban.
  10. Ultimately US weapons as well as weapons purchased with drug money are used to kill US soldiers and fight the puppet regime the US seeks to protect.

The above process necessitates keeping US troops in Afghanistan to 2024, if not infinity and beyond.
Thus, the Battle for Perpetual War is Won.

Is it any wonder the process has garnered rabid enthusiasm of the defense industry?

The only missing ingredient of the warmonger's ultimate fantasy is multiple wars on multiple fronts with a large power like Russia.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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