American combat troops leave Afghanistan for good by the end of 2014. Combat troops. Supposedly 10,000 troops will stay behind to train the army and occupy some bases. They aren't designated combat, so liberal Obama has cover. Afghanistan does not get much press, and has not since the Hamlet inspired delay on the Afghanistan Surge. It wonderfully reveals just how biased our media is as the death toll rolled through 2011 and 2012 at peak levels for our 13 year engagement in Afghanistan, and not a peep was heard from our media about the war in Afghanistan. The entire NatSec debate in 2012 was Obama killed OBL and that he ended the war. Messy details about Afghanistan would hurt the progressive system of win elections at all costs.
The progressives do not have anything set up well except for increasing voter numbers to win elections. Nothing really works besides that. The left needed to place Afghanistan on the backburner for 2012. Not helpful with close elections in play, and a peacemaker Obama image to sell. He ended the war in Iraq. How idiotic is that? We signed a SOFA before he even took office that had a schedule for withdrawal. The only thing he changed was taking the fastest way out, and then not leaving behind a force for any contingencies (like the war they're selling now). Ending a war, what a lame, progressive phrase. I ended a war. Will we admit victory or defeat? Will we learn from ending it? Does it count as ending it when the SOFA was signed prior to a person taking office? These are all things the mainstream media would not want to tackle.
It is also useful to keep it off the front pages as the media and our War Party had to sell Americans on new involvements possibly in Syria and now again in Iraq. How many countries do we have troops actively fighting today? How many thousands are still in Afghanistan? How many are still dying? There are counters out there, and there are people who care. There are also many Americans who view themselves as hawks, willing to fight and use our military anywhere. The military is the last institution that enjoys high levels of confidence from the citizenry. It is the last thing we can hang our hat on: we will destroy your nation. We cannot afford an outright loss, and Putin and the Chinese know this. We need to suffer those murky endings where we definitely did not triumph decisively so the progressives can win politically at home but we did not lose a "fair fight" so the red staters can crow about kickin' ass. Afghanistan hits just enough notes to appease everyone. Good War. Hearts and Minds. We're blowing stuff up! Fightin' cheatin' terrorists! What did we accomplish? >progressive tears<
The War Party keeps its spending a bit longer. Once again, everyone is reminded that the Nobel Peace Prize winner increased our war effort. "Nothing is going to change people, bwahaha, we'll have a government shutdown, but did the bombs stop dropping in Afghanistan during it?" Afghanistan was "the good war" as the left kept yelling for years that we were diverting resources that should go there by wasting time and effort in Iraq. As soon as Iraq wound down, they were disappointed Obama ordered the surge. Progressives always want to fight the fight you're not fighting, but the moment they talk you into it or you choose to engage, they walk away and claim it was not their desire. This is all spending, bombing and now, years after Al Qaeda has lost it's brain trust, for what are we doing it all? If we discussed that and cited the dead, we would be gone and not jumping into the Middle East fray again right now. All we get are more dead and maimed boys from the heartland, but you won't read about it on the front pages. Those men and the families they left behind have outlived their political use.