Allies Lower Sights in Afghanistan

French Official Admits West "In a Logic of Disengagement"

by Jason Ditz, March 15, 2009

Last week Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Said T. Jawad lashed out at the “defeatist and reductionist” western governments. Today, those governments continued a series of statements suggesting that, as the situation in Afghanistan continues to worsen, the ones limitless patience they’ve had for continuing the nearly eight year long occupation is starting to wear thin.

One senior French official admitted that “we are lowering our ambitions,” adding “it’ll take two to five years, but we’re in a logic of disengagement.” He also added, incredibly enough, that even “the Americans are now looking for a way out, they no longer regard Afghanistan as strategic.”

But while Vice President Biden has recently admitted “we are not now winning the war,” the Obama Administration seems to be in escalation mode, not disengagement mode. 17,000 more troops are already approved for Afghanistan, and officials are preparing the populace for the inevitable increase in deaths.

All the allies seem to agree that Afghanistan is going to remain a disaster for the foreseeable future, but unless the French official’s comments signal a difference between the public and private US positions, it seems there is a growing disconnect between the US and the rest of NATO over how much longer they’re going to continue throwing troops and money at this problem.

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