Obama came out of his NATO meeting today with an announcement that the 33,000 "surge" troops he sent to Afghanistan in 2009 would all be home within 15 months, with 10,000 of them leaving by the end of this year (Video and text).
This is good news, but not good enough, since 70,000 American troops will still be over there after this drawdown is finished. The plan now is to leave them in for a couple more years, and it'll take at least a couple more really big demonstrations to get that revised.
Under a headline reading "NATO Talks a Sham: War in Afghanistan Is Not Ending," Rep Dennis Kucinich responds to the NATO summit and Obama's announcement as follows:
"Today, NATO leaders are meeting in Chicago to discuss the future of Afghanistan. The talks are being billed as discussions of plans to end the war. The war in Afghanistan is not ending. These talks are simply about financing the next phase of the war.
"The Strategic Partnership Agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan commits us to the country for at least another decade, despite public support for the war being at an all-time low. The United States will pay for half of the estimated $4.1 billion per year cost of supporting 352,000 Afghan army and police officers. Afghanistan's contribution will be $500,000. The rest will be financed by our 'NATO partners.' It is not surprising that support for the war among NATO members is waning, with France threatening to pull out its troops by the end of this year."
My take on all this is that this clusterschnazzle will be over some time next year, as it will be forced by public turmoil and pressure exterted by our