Obama’s shameful Afghanistan retreat: This will embolden the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS

Originally published in New York Daily News
October 19, 2015

A U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment shields himself from the rotor wash of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter after being dropped off for a mission with the Afghan police near Jalalabad in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan December 20, 2014. (Reuters)

The headlines should read: “Obama to slash U.S. troops in Afghanistan by over 40% weeks before he hands over responsibility to a new President.” Instead they say: “Obama extends U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.” Talk about controlling the narrative.

We’re missing the plot here. The President announced on Thursday the most irresponsible decision he could have made about Afghanistan — second only to the promise he had made earlier to pull almost all U.S. troops. The right decision would have been to keep forces at current levels, or, better, send reinforcements.

For we are losing in Afghanistan, again. Security is deteriorating. The Taliban seized and briefly held the capital of an important province north of Kabul. They are threatening another one a short drive southwest of Kabul. U.S. forces destroyed two Al Qaeda training camps in Kandahar, one very large. The Islamic State controls part of Nangarhar Province, east of Kabul. Afghan security forces cannot hold what they have, let alone regain what they have lost.

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