In an interview broadcast today with CBS News, President Barack Obama defended the seemingly endless continuation of the Afghan War, claiming that the war has “a fairly modest goal, which is: Don’t allow terrorists to operate from this region. Don’t allow them to create big training camps and to plan attacks on the U.S. homeland with impunity. That can be accomplished.”
Obama insisted that “nobody thinks that Afghanistan is going to be a model Jeffersonian democracy” in his comments, and insisted that the purpose of the war was “fighting al-Qaeda.”
The most recent figures on this front come from CIA Director Leon Panetta, who insisted in June that there were “at most 50-100″ al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. The US-led occupation force currently stands at 150,000 strong.
But despite this massive numerical advantage of President Obama’s view that the goal is “fairly modest,” he has already disavowed the July 2011 drawdown date from Afghanistan, and officials are already speaking of the 2014 NATO drawdown date is speculative, at best. July was the deadliest month yet for US troops in Afghanistan.