US to pull all troops from Afghanistan in 2014?

posted at 12:41 pm on January 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Originally, the plan was to leave somewhere around 15,000 American troops in Afghanistan to continue training native security forces and provide support for operations.  A few days ago, that number started drifting downward to 2,500, based on leaks from the Obama administration.  Late yesterday, Reuters reported that the actual number may be as low as … zero:

The Obama administration does not rule out a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 2014, the White House said on Tuesday, just days before President Barack Obama is due to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The comments by U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes were the clearest signal yet that, despite initial recommendations by the top military commander in Afghanistan to keep as many as 15,000 troops in the country, Obama could opt to remove everyone, as happened in Iraq in 2011.

Asked about consideration of a so-called zero-option once the NATO combat mission ends at the end of 2014, Rhodes said: “That would be an option that we would consider.”

The main mission for an American presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 draw-down date on which Obama insists would be to keep al-Qaeda from re-establishing a presence in the region.  The Taliban, their allies, would be Hamid Karzai’s problem, which is what it was going to eventually be anyway.  The war in Afghanistan is essentially a tribal war between Pashtuns and everyone else overlaid by religious extremism, and the only resolution will be some sort of settlement that allows the tribes to live with each other.

So how can the US fight AQ to keep it from re-allying with the Taliban without having boots on the ground?  Rhodes told reporters that “There are, of course, many different ways of accomplishing those objectives, some of which might involve U.S. troops, some of which might not,” but it’s difficult to see how to do it without having some sort of military presence in the area.  Drone strikes have been effective, but only because Pakistan has been pushed into tacitly allowing them.  If we leave Afghanistan, how long will that remain the case?  I’d suspect the time could be measured in weeks, if not days, since the drone operations are a major political headache for Islamabad.  At that point, we’d have to rely on cruise missiles, which haven’t had a great track record of success against AQ in that region in the past.

One thing is certain — Obama isn’t listening to the generals on the zero-troop option, at least not how the Washington Post reports it:

Some senior military officials and analysts have pressed for a more robust force, arguing that a hasty disengagement would be reckless and could cause Afghanistan’s security forces to crumble. The United States has invested $50 billion in training and equipping the Afghan army and police.

Others say that a small, well-managed contingent could accomplish the Obama administration’s key objectives while markedly lowering the United States’ profile in a region where anti-American sentiment runs high.

“The real question is what kind of mission we’re looking at,” said a senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations. “The challenge will be the temptation to keep doing many of the things we’ve been doing.”

The zero-troop option would mean no mission at all — not just reckless disengagement but also no well-managed small contingent to accomplish “key objectives.”  Now that the Obama administration has explicitly raised this as a choice, how likely are they to conclude that leaving any troops at all is a palatable option?


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Old and Busted: 9/11 was the West’s fault because they abandoned Afghanistan and let it descend into civil war…..

Ben Hur on January 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Why that long?

right2bright on January 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

…and Obama leaves al-qaeda/Taliban more powerful in Afghanistan then they were when we went in after 9/11.

“Smart Power”

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

10 years too late, but whatever.

EddieC on January 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM

MORE ON THE MIDDLE EAST: THE ANTI-ISRAEL DISTORTION OF HISTORY. A Los Angeles substitute teacher and historian fisks a history text book, and a noted military history expert does much the same with how the Crusades are taught.

Mutnodjmet on January 9, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Nuke Afghanistan. It’s never going to enter the civilized world, so send it back to the stone age.

nobar on January 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Should have been much earlier, but both Democrats and Republicans were too busy using the war for electoral advantage to see that we were doing and gaining nothing by staying.

AngusMc on January 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Mutiny. Our deployed forces should mutiny. They’ve been dying for nothing there, because of our leadership’s failure to follow through in full measure. We should be breaking the back of the Taliban and sharia, up to and including annihilating its chief adherents and power bases. Instead we play useless Vietnam-tactic games of dying for turf we immediately yield. Dying for nothing for a drugged society of Thursday-queer pedophiles. We ought to be destroying that culture instead of propping it up. Instead of dying for it.

rayra on January 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Well, if Obama gets his way we wont have any troops by 2014…anywhere

Trafalgar on January 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Why wait? The Taleebohn still own Karzai and will control the ‘security forces’ that we are currently training when they aren’t shooting at us. Perfect conditions for AQ to move back in if they want to but hey, they have a lot of other bases now and don’t need that litter box.

CorporatePiggy on January 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Afghanistan to revert to the 7th century shortly after.

What a loss for ‘humanity’, from all angles.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Obama and Hillary love tyrants. Most all leftists do.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Chase the squirrel, dammit!

Dusty on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Sooner the better. So long as we have no goal, we should not be letting our men and women die for nothing.

astonerii on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Well, if Obama gets his way we wont have any troops by 2014…anywhere
Trafalgar on January 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

‘Retreat’?!

You have an administration (President & Liberals) who hate the military, are determined to wekaen it & ensure we are no longer a major military power in the world.

We sent troops to Afghanistan to go after & destroy terrorists who attacked us on 9/11…while you have a President who has HELPED terrorists in Libya (making it easy for them to kill more Americans on the anniversary of 9/11 there in Benghazi) & in Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood)…who just gave the PLA/HAMAS $192 million (which they probably used to buy more rockets they in turn launched into Israel) & GAVE (while we are $16.5 Trillion in debt) at least a DOZEN new F-16s fighter aircraft to the terrorist-run Egyptian Govt….

Despte what our Generals sad, we drastically cut the level of troops in Afghanistan, sat by & did nothing as the Taliban infiltrated the Afghan military & began to shoot/kill our troops…..

Our Troops fought the Taliban…and every winter they fled up into the safe haven accross the border into Pakistan…our ‘ally in the fight against terrorism’…and they came back every spring through the passes after the snow melted…

To quote an old song, “1,2,3,4…WHAT THE H@LL ARE WE FIGHTIN’ FOR?!” It’s MORE than time to bring our troops home…only for them to find that while they served / sacrificed abroad to defend this nation against our enemies our elected ‘domestic enemies’ have been destroying the nation from within in their absence…

easyt65 on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

How about we do this right now? There is NO reason to have our military in that rop type devil’s spawn nation, or any other one!

And NO MORE, not one more penny to that or any other nation that hates our guts!
L

letget on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Bring them all home tomorrow.

p0s3r on January 9, 2013 at 12:53 PM

And so was set in motion the events that would lead to another future massacre of Americans.

WordsMatter on January 9, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Nuke Afghanistan. It’s never going to enter the civilized world, so send it back to the stone age.

nobar on January 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

No effin’ way. Haven’t you heard that massive amount of rare-earth ores – to the tune of 1-3 trillion dollars in today’s prices, no less – were found there? Rare earth elements are the oil of the computer era. Exterminating the local savages by non-irradiating means would go a very long way in repaying our debt, but watch neocons and liberals united in foaming-at-the-mouth opposition to such a natural move.

Archivarix on January 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Despte what our Generals sad, we drastically cut the level of troops in Afghanistan, sat by & did nothing as the Taliban infiltrated the Afghan military & began to shoot/kill our troops…..

easyt65 on January 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

And also killed Bin Laden. Don’t forget that. It’s time to stop throwing good money after bad. America can no longer afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on military spending that we don’t need. We can fund medicare, or our industrial military complex. We can’t do both.

Ric on January 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

We are getting to the point that we won’t be able to afford a military … AT ALL. So we will likely not only have 0 troops in Afghanistan, we might be looking at a significantly reduced presence in the USA itself.

Prediction: You will start hearing noises about the complete elimination of the Marine Corps soon.

crosspatch on January 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

My son who is in the Army National Guard, just got informed they will deployed to Afghanistan later this year…….so much for “zero”

tencole on January 9, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Prediction: You will start hearing noises about the complete elimination of the Marine Corps soon.

crosspatch on January 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I’m been saying this for weeks now. We are going full frontal socialist and it will be 100% entitlements. Forget military, forget low taxes, forget good medical care. It’s all freebees now. There is not conservative movement to stop, at least not yet.

Oil Can on January 9, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Wreck the infrastructure on the way out.

mojo on January 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Meanwhile…….the Constitution has become a joke.

America is now in DICTATOR TERRITORY.

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

Biden talked also about taking responsible action. “As the president said, if you’re actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.”

Biden, as he himself noted, helped write the Brady bill.

Eric Holder was scheduled to be at the meeting that’s currently taking place at the White House.

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Get them out of that hellhole.

We’ve been there long enough. Bin Laden’s gone, most of his network is rolled up and moved somewhere else.

Time to bring them home.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Mutiny. Our deployed forces should mutiny. They’ve been dying for nothing there, because of our leadership’s failure to follow through in full measure. We should be breaking the back of the Taliban and sharia, up to and including annihilating its chief adherents and power bases. Instead we play useless Vietnam-tactic games of dying for turf we immediately yield. Dying for nothing for a drugged society of Thursday-queer pedophiles. We ought to be destroying that culture instead of propping it up. Instead of dying for it.

rayra on January 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Bring them all home today if possible and safe, otherwise ASAP.

JustTruth101 on January 9, 2013 at 1:06 PM

The last thing we should do on our way out is to turn Karzai over to the Taliban

halfastro on January 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

“The real question is what kind of mission we’re looking at,” said a senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations. “The challenge will be the temptation to keep doing many of the things we’ve been doing.

Yea…like a failed surge
………..like a failed training program that has seen our Soldiers suffer more killed by the “moderate” Taliban than by IED’s…..
………………or like a weak,PC foreign policy that has established that “The Taliban is not our enemy”…..
It certainly is a challenge to have to decide if Obama wants to continue such a disastrous strategy that has seen the mission become an absolute failure.

Remember when the “smartest people in the room” boasted about their superior plan that would win this war:

“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. That’s been at least my practice.”

Obama…April 2012

…..and here is what the liberal hero said:

Losing is not an option

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZRspJg1VYA

…..What a major contrast to the weak capitulation we see coming out of the White House now……elections over I guess.

I will . . . finish the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama

….tough words……absolute weak on actions.

Mr. Obama has said that a stable Afghanistan is central to the security of the United States,

Obama Considers Strategy Shift in Afghan War
NY Times, Sept. 22, 2009

…..guess it depends on the liberal definition of “stable”….
…must mean Taliban/Al-qaeda take back control and are free to plan and carry out more attacks.

“We need to finish the fight in Afghanistan… George Bush and John McCain have been weak on terrorism. It’s time to finish the fight in Afghanistan.”

Barack Obama
2008 Presidential Campaigning

……let’s see….Bush helped put forward a successful strategy (surge) in Iraq to defeat al-qaeda and restore enough security to allow the Iraqi people to form a government……
……………..Bush was destroying mosques where now we have Obama rebuilding them in Afghanistan.
Don’t remember Bush ever declaring that “The Taliban are not our enemy” either….
Surrender in Afghanistan is about as weak as you can get…..and Obama owns it.

Remember what Obama promised back in 2008:

“No. 3, we’ve got to deal with Pakistan, because al Qaeda and the Taliban have safe havens in Pakistan, across the border in the northwest regions, and although, you know, under George Bush, with the support of Senator McCain, we’ve been giving them $10 billion over the last seven years,(Obama has given them billions more) they have not done what needs to be done to get rid of those safe havens.
And until we do, Americans here at home are not going to be safe.
But I do believe that we have to change our policies with Pakistan. We can’t coddle, as we did, a dictator, give him billions of dollars and then he’s making peace treaties with the Taliban and militants.
“[al Qaeda] are now operating in 60 countries. We have to go to the root cause, and that is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s going to be critical. “

….so let’s be very clear….in Obama’s own words….he is leaving America “unsafe” and vulnerable to the jihadist.

“…every intelligence agency will acknowledge that al Qaeda is the greatest threat against the United States and that Secretary of Defense Gates acknowledged the central front — that the place where we have to deal with these folks is going to be in Afghanistan and in Pakistan.”


…and under Obama’s leadership…al-qaeda has become stronger than ever.

“Smart power”………

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 1:10 PM

The last thing we should do on our way out is to turn Karzai over to the Taliban

halfastro on January 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

They’re already in the same bed.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Afghanistan…..

…..complete waste of American blood and treasure.

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Can we send our guns (when they get confiscated) to Afghanistan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nM0asnCXD0

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Wreck the infrastructure on the way out.

mojo on January 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

what infrastructure?

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

0bama is going to need as many troops back home as possible, for the coming gun confiscations.

Rebar on January 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

yay! leave the hell hole!

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Destroy their mosques, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity by force if necessary.

Stay in Afghanistan to use it as a launching point to invade Iran (along with Iraq and ships in the Persian Gulf.)

Seven Seas on January 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Destroy their mosques, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity by force if necessary.

Stay in Afghanistan to use it as a launching point to invade Iran (along with Iraq and ships in the Persian Gulf.)

Seven Seas on January 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Adorable.

But no.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Afghanistan to revert to the 7th century shortly after.

What a loss for ‘humanity’, from all angles.

Schadenfreude on January 9, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Revert? Seventh century would be considered progress.

Happy Nomad on January 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Hey…I’ve got a great idea….

Let’s arm al-qaeda…the Muslim Brotherhood….and Hamas while at the same time disarm the American people….

“Forward!!!!”……

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM

We can fund medicare, or our industrial military complex. We can’t do both.

Ric on January 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Ric, Obama STOLE $500 Billion from Medicare just to get the cost of Obamacare (that includes the largest tax in US History as well as gun rights legislation/restrictions) down to approx $1 TRILLION. You seriously think Obama gives a d@mn about funding Meedicare?!

If we eliminate the military, saving hundreds of billions odf dollars, Obama would use that savings on more social programs (like for ‘Obama Phones’) & more $7 million family vacations right until the moment when the US is invaded/taken over.

The currend administration doesn’t give a D@MN about the middle class or any other class of Americans. Look athis last tax bill — it was touted as going to reduce the deficit, decrease spending, & tax only people making $400k & above…what actually came out of that bill was $3.8 trillion in new debt, 15% increase in spending, & 77% of all Americans paying higher taxes..and that doesn’t include the taxes included in Obamacare…

Obama also just stated – (although we acknowledge we are violating the law by not passing a budget every year) I will NOT negotiate or give anything in compromise for a debt ceiling increase — I will not pass a budget, I will not agree to any spending cuts – Nothing! I want my debt ceiling increase! He is also the @ssh*le who moronically declared, “We don;t have a SPENDING problem.”

Senate Democrats packed almost 3 times the amount of pork into the Hurricane Sandy bill as was going to the actual victims….perhaps you should have said:

“we can either allow Obama/Liberals spend an average $1.7 Trillion, in pork/waste like what we saw in the Senate Hurricane Relief Bill, over what we collect in revenue every year OR we can balance a budget, eliminate our debt, return fiscal sanity to out government, & return our nation to economic prosperity…”

easyt65 on January 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Destroy their mosques, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity by force if necessary.

Stay in Afghanistan to use it as a launching point to invade Iran (along with Iraq and ships in the Persian Gulf.)

Seven Seas on January 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

lol! we have a modern crusader over here! better join the knight templar or something, what you talk about, is not a task of the US army!

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

lol @ “Retreat”

You’re right, Ed. We should never leave.

EddieC on January 9, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Hey…I’ve got a great idea….

Let’s arm al-qaeda…the Muslim Brotherhood….and Hamas while at the same time disarm the American people….

“Forward!!!!”……

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM

arm both the MB(hamas is just a branch of them), the iranians and al-qaeda and you might just see them kill each other for us. kinda like syria.

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

No effin’ way. Haven’t you heard that massive amount of rare-earth ores – to the tune of 1-3 trillion dollars in today’s prices, no less – were found there?

Archivarix on January 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

That’s okay, China will care for them.

LoganSix on January 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

A few years too late. Why are we trying to nation build a people that doesn’t want it?

mythicknight on January 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

No effin’ way. Haven’t you heard that massive amount of rare-earth ores – to the tune of 1-3 trillion dollars in today’s prices, no less – were found there? Rare earth elements are the oil of the computer era. Exterminating the local savages by non-irradiating means would go a very long way in repaying our debt, but watch neocons and liberals united in foaming-at-the-mouth opposition to such a natural move.

Archivarix on January 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Im pretty sure “neocons” won’t have a problem with that as I self-identify as one and I think that is brillant.

thebrokenrattle on January 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

A few years too late. Why are we trying to nation build a people that doesn’t want it?

mythicknight on January 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Fixed.

It’s time to patch up and build up fortress America and just let the world burn.

Afgh. ain’t Germany. The German people (despite their flawed and crazy political leadership that grabbed power at a weak moment in their history)were civilized enough that the ones not caught up in Naziism had the knowledge, the desire and wherewithal to build itself up with our help after we extended them a helping hand after the war.

Afgh. is a festering ashtray of a ‘country’ with no infrastructure, no political sophistication, no economy, no contributions to the human race at any point, religious terrorism, tribal warfare, etc.

It’s time to let it go. Keep a circle of drones watching the place a few miles up 24-7 for the return of any terrorists and incinerate them on sight with missiles and bombs. Otherwise, peace-out.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Afgh. is a festering ashtray of a ‘country’ with no infrastructure, no political sophistication, no economy, no contributions to the human race at any point, religious terrorism, tribal warfare, etc.

It’s time to let it go. Keep a circle of drones watching the place a few miles up 24-7 for the return of any terrorists and incinerate them on sight with missiles and bombs. Otherwise, peace-out.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

i like this plan!

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Destroy their mosques, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity by force if necessary.

Stay in Afghanistan to use it as a launching point to invade Iran (along with Iraq and ships in the Persian Gulf.)

Seven Seas on January 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

lol! we have a modern crusader over here! better join the knight templar or something, what you talk about, is not a task of the US army!

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

The two step, Pappy Plan for middle east security for the U.S.

1.
LEAVE THEM ALONE…..but give covert support to the various sects in Islam. And let them KILL EACH OTHER.

2.
ARM ISRAEL to the teeth and let them nuke anyone that gets in their way.

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:35 PM

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

We could only be so lucky.

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 1:39 PM

The two step, Pappy Plan for middle east security for the U.S.

1.
LEAVE THEM ALONE…..but give covert support to the various sects in Islam. And let them KILL EACH OTHER.

2.
ARM ISRAEL to the teeth and let them nuke anyone that gets in their way.

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:35 PM

point 2 is already acheived… point 1 sounds also nice, but maybe you dont have to do any proselytizing, just stay out of the way. even between sunni branches, they will find reasons to kill each other.

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

We could only be so lucky.

Baxter Greene on January 9, 2013 at 1:39 PM

its what happening in syria… isent it nice to see shia jihadis and sunni jihadis killing each other! perfect!
remenber iraq? it was exactly the same thing, but we were in the middle of them and dying with them. serious stupidity on our part!

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

In the words of Monty Python .. “Run Away, Run Away” those rabbits are dangerous!

Considering the ROE, yeah, get out. Our troops are in danger since they are basically disarmed. If you’re not going to let them do what is needed, then get out.

TerryW on January 9, 2013 at 1:48 PM

point 2 is already acheived… point 1 sounds also nice, but maybe you dont have to do any proselytizing, just stay out of the way. even between sunni branches, they will find reasons to kill each other.

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I don’t disagree.

They do hate each other and love to kill one another by the tens of thousands (Iran/Iraq war for example) but I’m talking just a little boost to keep them occupied for decades to come. They already think we’re the Great Satan so we’re not losing any friends. And we own the Saudi royal family so they’ll go along to protect themselves and that should keep Iran busy and the apes running the Egyptian government now are probably going to be busy destroying their country for a few years so they’ll be pre-occupied.

Just a little covert to help them get back to their natural state (violence).

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

If we aren’t going to have a robust presence, get them all out. If you leave a ‘small contingent’, they will be killed. Read about what happened to the Brits when the tried to leave.

Get all the NGO people out, too. Nothing good is going to happen there.

On the bright side, we can dump the Pakistanis and get closer to the Indians.

trigon on January 9, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Just a little covert to help them get back to their natural state (violence).

PappyD61 on January 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

why to keep our hands dirty? just giving them reasons to hate us in the future. just leave them in their disgrace.

nathor on January 9, 2013 at 2:00 PM

We should have left 10 year ago.

woodNfish on January 9, 2013 at 2:02 PM

A magazine based in Boston, the North American Review, published a remarkably extensive and timely account titled “The English in Afghanistan” six months later, in July 1842. It contained this vivid description (some antiquated spellings have been left intact):

On the 6th of January, 1842, the Caboul forces commenced their retreat through the dismal pass, destined to be their grave. On the third day they were attacked by the mountaineers from all points, and a fearful slaughter ensued…

The troops kept on, and awful scenes ensued. Without food, mangled and cut to pieces, each one caring only for himself, all subordination had fled; and the soldiers of the forty-fourth English regiment are reported to have knocked down their officers with the butts of their muskets.

On the 13th of January, just seven days after the retreat commenced, one man, bloody and torn, mounted on a miserable pony, and pursued by horsemen, was seen riding furiously across the plains to Jellalabad. That was Dr. Brydon, the sole person to tell the tale of the passage of Khourd Caboul.

More than 16,000 people had set out on the retreat from Kabul, and in the end only one man, Dr. William Brydon, a British Army surgeon, had made it alive to Jalalabad.

The garrison there lit signal fires and sounded bugles to guide other British survivors to safety, but after several days they realized that Brydon would be the only one. It was believed the Afghans let him live so he could tell the grisly story.

trigon on January 9, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Shouldn’t we be keeping troops in Afghanistan until at least 2114? We got to win those Muslim Hearts and Minds, you know, and we still have got a veeeery loooong way to go. We should probably keep troops there to 3014.

VorDaj on January 9, 2013 at 2:17 PM

See Barry run! Run Barry! Run! See Barry’s white flag? Wave the flag Barry!

GarandFan on January 9, 2013 at 3:13 PM

It’s time to let it go. Keep a circle of drones watching the place a few miles up 24-7 for the return of any terrorists and incinerate them on sight with missiles and bombs. Otherwise, peace-out.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

The problem is: Those drones operate out of local bases – so you’ll still need boots on the ground to arm them, service them, defend the base, etc.

I don’t know why we’re trying to build infrastructure in that country. There’s no way in hell that the Afghan government will be able to support and maintain what we’re leaving behind.

Unless we’re their strictly to go after the Taliban and AQ – I say forget the nation building – and get the hell out. Now.

Hill60 on January 9, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Unless we’re their there strictly to go after the Taliban and AQ – I say forget the nation building – and get the hell out. Now.

Hill60 on January 9, 2013 at 3:18 PM

We got to win those Muslim Hearts and Minds, you know, and we still have got a veeeery loooong way to go.

Meh, the muslims are much further along the way in winning our hearts and minds, right here.

The only thing our being in Afghanistan for so long with restrictive rules of engagement accomplished was grinding down or military personnel, depleting our military resources and rolling out the welcome mat to thousands more muslim refugees and immigrants expediting their relocation to our nation.

hawkeye54 on January 9, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Surrender….

Putin, China, and Iran are salivating to get in and re-arming the terrorist that are waiting us out.

nazo311 on January 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

…what a clusterfluke!

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Afgh. ain’t Germany. The German people (despite their flawed and crazy political leadership that grabbed power at a weak moment in their history)were civilized enough that the ones not caught up in Naziism had the knowledge, the desire and wherewithal to build itself up with our help after we extended them a helping hand after the war.

Afgh. is a festering ashtray of a ‘country’ with no infrastructure, no political sophistication, no economy, no contributions to the human race at any point, religious terrorism, tribal warfare, etc.

It’s time to let it go. Keep a circle of drones watching the place a few miles up 24-7 for the return of any terrorists and incinerate them on sight with missiles and bombs. Otherwise, peace-out.

Good Lt on January 9, 2013 at 1:32 PM

WOOOOHAAAH! I like this plan!

Not one more dollar! Not one more soldier! Not one more ****ing minute in that utterly worthless pit, and bull me no crap about “rare earth minerals”. (which there’s no way to GET them short of outright depopulating the place…)

MelonCollie on January 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM