Underscoring his administration’s commitment to continue the already eight and a half year long occupation of Afghanistan, President Barack Obama made a surprise visit today and delivered a speech declaring the war ‘absolutely essential.’
Citing 9/11, President Obama insisted that continuing the conflict makes all Americans safer, and assured the troops that “everyone” knows the importance of the continued occupation of the landlocked nation.
He also threw water on the notion that the war might come to an end any time soon, saying “the United States of America does not quit once we start on something.” He reiterated his confidence that the US would ultimately prevail.
But despite pledging to give the troops a clear mission and a clear goal, and insisting that they would “get the job done,” he didn’t make it at all clear what exactly this job was. His only hint at any mission beyond endless conflict was a reference to al-Qaeda in the region, though administration officials have repeatedly conceded that there are virtually no al-Qaeda members left in Afghanistan, and have not been in some time. Yet momentum and a sufficiently hawkish administration suggests the conflict will continue to find enemies wherever it can and continue indefinitely.