President Obama has decided to expedite the deployment of 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan over the next six months, in an effort to reverse the momentum of Taliban gains and create urgency for the government in Kabul to match the American surge with one using its own forces, according to senior administration officials. New York Times
More soldiers committed suicide this year than in any year for which we have complete records. But the military is now able to meet its recruitment goals because the young men and women who are signing up can’t find jobs in civilian life. The United States is broken — school systems are deteriorating, the economy is in shambles, homelessness and poverty rates are expanding — yet we’re nation-building in Afghanistan, sending economically distressed young people over there by the tens of thousands at an annual cost of a million dollars each. Bob Herbert NYT
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I guess finally this is just who we are and what we do: go around killing people and blowing things up. If it wasn't Afghanistan it would be somewhere else.
"Looking on the Bright Side of Life", as the song puts it, at least while pouring sand endlessly down the Afghan rat hole, the US armed forces will be too overstretched to contemplate a war with Iran and since a war with Iran might send the world economy right over the edge into the pit, I suppose it is just as well to keep them puttering uselessly around Afghanistan and out of any real trouble.
And in keeping with my Pollyanna mood, I suppose that although quite a few human beings will get killed and maimed in this thing, Afghans mostly, but Americans too, there wont be nearly as many humans killed and maimed as there would be in a war with Iran.
In short, if the US armed forces really have to be somewhere, killing somebody, better Afghanistan.
They used to say about the Bourbon royal family that they "learned nothing and forgot nothing", but it looks like the USA is going the Bourbons one better by forgetting everything and learning nothing.
More than decadent the USA is beginning to look and act senile. DS