A bilateral accord which will decide the future role of U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 will be put to an assembly of some 3,000 tribal elders and other prominent people next month.
Organizers of the meeting, known as the Loya Jirga, said it would take place around November 19-21. President Hamid Karzai last week said only the assembly had the authority to decide on the agreement.
Most combat troops are to be withdrawn from the country next year. The draft bilateral accord contains provisions believed to be contentious to Kabul. These include a U.S. demand to retain legal jurisdiction over its troops who stay on in Afghanistan, which would give them immunity from Afghan law. That means that U.S. troops could be arrested and tried in Afghan courts for “war crimes” or for breaking Sharia Law. The United States has never allowed jurisdiction over our troops in hostile environments and if the Afghans insist on being able to arrest and imprison our troops there will be no bilateral agreement reached. All US troops will come home in 2014 leaving the Afghan government on its own to deal with the Taliban and the rising influence of drug lords and cartels.
In that event, Afghanistan will, in a short time, probably look very much as it did before the war started a decade ago (except now the Taliban will be in major control of 80% of the worlds opium).
No matter what the Afghan’s decide to do, I find myself asking: What was it all for? We should have finished off Al Qaeda and gotten out 10 years ago. Before we saw so many dead and wounded Americans and before we spent billions upon billions of dollars. What a maddening waste…..
The architects of our involvement in Afghanistan after Al Qaeda had been chased out and into the hills of Pakistan should be held accountable, from the President down to the generals who gave such bad advice. That will never happen, of course. Only history will be left to judge these men –and history will judge them harshly.
Do something once and people will say "Thank You". Do it twice and they will say "It was better the first time". Do it three times and they will say: "Wasn't that your job all along?"
Live Long and Prosper...