While most of the country was focusing their attention on White House intruders and George Clooney’s nuptials, a very important event was occurring in Afghanistan.
Yesterday the Obama administration signed a residual forces agreement with the newly elected Afghan government. The agreement authorizes the United States to maintain roughly 10,000 military personnel in Afghanistan “into 2014 and beyond.”
Allow me to translate. The United States military will maintain “boots on the ground” in Afghanistan…indefinitely.
This is a stunning development from a president who promised to pull the country back from “an endless war footing.” Now we have this same president agreeing to maintain that “war footing” in perpetuity.
Even more surprising to me than the agreement is the lack of reaction from the electorate, the media and especially from congress.
As I said most of the country is wondering how an intruder can be running around loose in supposedly the most secure home in the country. And then there are all the pictures of George in his Armani tux and his beautiful bride in her designer dress. It’s all about the dress. Throughout the years of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there has always been a sort of disconnect between the 1% who serve in the military and the 99% who do not. It took the grisly beheading of two American journalists to grab the country’s attention to the fact that we are at war. So I guess it isn’t surprising that events occurring in Kabul are not on the country’s radar.
The media didn’t pay much attention either. One would think that an open ended military commitment would spark some debate among the chattering class. But the news was not even mentioned in most of the major media outlets.
And then there is congress. For the past six years members of this august group have expressed their outrage over what they view as this “imperialist” president’s abuse of his executive authority. They even filed a suit against him for having the audacity to extend by one year the corporate deadline for complying with the ACA. Now we have this president agreeing to maintain military forces in Afghanistan for as long as the sun sets in the west. We expect this congress to be outraged. Surely they will call for a congressional hearing at the very least or impeachment at the extreme. After all they have subjected us to nonsensical oratories of Green Eggs and Ham over far less. Yet this perpetual military agreement brings only silence.
Given the current state of affairs in the region and the civil unrest that has raged there for centuries; I believe that the president has set us on a course of perpetual military conflict.
It is hard to understand how such an important historical event could generate such a tepid response.