Remember how President Obama promised to win in Afghanistan and then leave?
While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.
The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down U.S.-Afghan terms.
“The Parties acknowledge that continued U.S. military operations to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate and agree to continue their close cooperation and coordination toward that end,” the draft states.
According to a document obtained by NBC News, the war in Afghanistan may not be over for years to come. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.
The 25-page “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” is a sweeping document, vague in places, highly specific in others, defining everything from the types of future missions U.S. troops would be allowed to conduct in Afghanistan, to the use of radios and the taxation of American soldiers and contractors.
This should surprise no one. Obama boasted of how he had brought the troops out of Iraq, but this had only happened the way it did because of the insistent independence of the Iraqi government. They refused to allow troops to stay at the time. Romney called Obama out about this during the debates (and Obama denied everything).
Since Romney was only criticizing Obama for failing to keep troops in Iraq, he couldn’t really campaign against Obama on the fact that he tried to keep them in.
But now we are seeing what happens when Obama gets his way. He doesn’t end war. He makes war forever.