The US Marines and British troops have officially ended combat operations in Afghanistan, handing over Marine Camp Leatherneck and British Camp Bastion to the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps. Bringing an end to America’s longest war by no means implies we’ve brought peace, but significant improvements have been made. Brig General Daniel Yoo, Commander of the Southwest Regional Forces said:
I’m cautiously optimistic (The Afghans) will be able to sustain themselves. They’ve got to want it more than we do.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon had these comments:
Our armed forces’ tremendous sacrifice laid the foundations for a strong Afghan security force, set the security context that enabled the first democratic transition of power in the country’s history, and stopped it being a launch pad for terrorist attacks in the UK
In an agreement with the Afghan Government, coalition forces will maintain a 9800 troop security force and Special Forces Operations, which can only mean targeted terrorist hunting, will continue operations for the foreseeable future.
The lowering of Old Glory and the Union Jack from a massive set of compounds in Helmland Province is somewhat overshadowed by the 2,349 Americans and 453 Brits who paid the ultimate price for their service.
Are the Bush Wars finally over?
Some would argue that calling Afghanistan a “Bush” war may be a little unfair. It’s more than likely that any sitting President would have done the same after the attacks in 2001. Afghanistan isn’t a war created by George W. Bush, it was created when Ronald Wilson Reagan via the CIA, previously run by his Vice President George HW Bush, helped Osama Bin Laden create al Qaeda and defeat the Soviet Union in a covert operation of the cold war. That in itself isn’t the issue, the issue is after watching the Russians withdraw with their tails between their legs in 1989, then President GHW Bush tossed Afghanistan aside and washed his hands of the whole affair, leaving al Qaeda high and dry in a country with no infrastructure ravaged by a decade of war.
Iraq was simply a bad idea. Bad intel, blatant lies. Contracts for Haliburton and The Carlysle Group, no exit strategy. It was so obvious that this was war for profit built off of the fears of the American people it’s ridiculous. “We’d rather fight them over there than over here” was the theme, and the public bought it. It wasn’t until after Bush’s reelection that the truth started to come out. No WMD’s. Well isn’t that a fine how-do-ya-do. It’s OK, it was actually about Saddam abusing the “Food for Oil” program. Hussein hated terrorists. Terrorists presented as much threat to the ego-maniacal dictator as they did to us. The entire country was allowed only one alpha male, and that job was taken.
With the Iraq and Aghan wars over, an end of an era, we now get to focus on the next major crisis in the region: ISIS. Born of al Qaeda in Iraq, a group that didn’t exist until George W. Bush decided it would be in our best interest to spend more than a trillion dollars on a war on the credit card that is the National Debt. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives instead of sending some snipers with $40 worth of bullets to rid the world of anything related to Saddam Hussein deemed a threat.
Are we done with Bush wars? Hardly.
Intro image: davidmixnor.com