Thursday, June 23, 2011

getting out

obama gave a speech last night announcing the withdrawal of u.s. forces from afghanistan beginning immediately but then stretching out for another three years before it will finally be done. some left blogistanis, like susie, seem to be saying that the withdrawal timetable should be faster. meanwhile the media is characterizing the president's draw down plan as speedy. (e.g. "The troop reductions, which were decided after a short but fierce internal debate, will be both deeper and faster than the recommendations made by Mr. Obama’s military commanders")

personally, i have no idea what a fast, slow, or medium rate of withdrawal from afghanistan would be. if you're not willing to simply evacuate all the soldiers and support personnel on the first transport out (which would expose them to a great deal of vulnerability during the withdrawal and leave a lot of stuff behind) and want to do a more thorough withdrawal, meaning the disassembling of bases, the removal of weaponry and equipment, as well as safely and methodically pulling out u.s. personnel, then i understand it will take time. i'm just not sure what a reasonable period of time for a "quick" exit would be. as with the iraq withdrawal, the more important thing for me is that there is a timetable for withdrawal and that the president sticks to it. i really have no way of judging whether schedule itself is too long. if anyone has any insight on why this timetable is too long, i'd be happy to hear it.