The “Zero Option” is the only realistic option


"Mr. Obama is committed to ending America’s military involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and Obama administration officials have been negotiating with Afghan officials about leaving a small “residual force” behind. But his relationship with Mr. Karzai has been slowly unraveling, and reached a new low after an effort last month by the United States to begin peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar.
Mr. Karzai promptly repudiated the talks and ended negotiations with the United States over the long-term security deal that is needed to keep American forces in Afghanistan after 2014."  NY Times


This is all nonsense.  Karzai continues to treat Obama with contempt.  He evidently sees POTUS as easily deceived, easy to manipulate and as someone who can be "plucked like a turkey."

Obama has begun to understand the depth of the disrespect to him and therefore to all Americans. This is a bitter thing when the extent of American sacrifice in life, limb and money is considered.

The truth is that Karzai (or any other Afghan likely to be in power) will seek to exploit the resources of the United States as long as possible while denying cooperation with ever greater frequency as the end of US presence approaches.

In the end the Afghans hold the "trump card" in this game in that they can simply refuse to grant legal extra-territoriality to US forces after 2014.  

Obama should end this farce,  pl

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15 Responses to The “Zero Option” is the only realistic option

  1. Peter C says:

    Karzi knew form the get go that the U.S. in time would leave. I don’t know how our foreign policy could even contemplate a long term garrisoning of troops in a hostile land at the ends of earth. Having to bribe every ounce of freight and fuel into Afghanistan. We are fools to even think that we could negotiate with anyone in power in Afghanistan. It’s not a negotiation, it’s wealth extraction.
    The limbs and lives don’t matter to Karzi, it’s about the money, draining the U.S. Treasury into his clans bank accounts.
    How many billions will continue to flow into Afghanistan after the withdrawal, for some type of agricultural aid?
    What did we accomplish in Iraq and Afghanistan, I would love to see what the State Department claims. Oh, I forgot, Kerry is busy sailing some Zillion Dollar motor sailer.

  2. Charles I says:

    All true.
    In fairness to Kerry that was a few days ago, its reported his wife is in critical condition after a seizure yesterday, so today I assume and hope he is by her side.

  3. VietnamVet says:

    Karzi is trying to hold onto Kabul for a few months longer, but when the money stops flowing he’ll move on to the Riviera.
    I heard from my sister-in-law that her relative at Fort Lewis who is an officer and served in Afghanistan has been told he won’t be needed next year. It looks like that we get to relive the 70’s all over again. It is crazy to dump combat veterans on the street with no jobs and no hope. Perhaps, this time the Vets will not be tarred as losers and will unite and force the government to serve its citizens.

  4. turcopolier says:

    Charles I
    Yes. His lady wife is ill and Kerry may have to leave the government in order to care for her. pl

  5. turcopolier says:

    “… has been told he won’t be needed next year. It looks like that we get to relive the 70’s.” I guess you are talking about a Reduction In Force (RIF). I believe that is already underway in anticipation of a much smaller force structure in the Army. After VN in the 70s some 15,000 reserve officers who had been on active duty for the war were put out in this way. Many of them were long service former enlisted soldiers. This got to be so extreme that the Congress was asked to also allow a RIF of Regular Army officers. This required passage of special law. This was allowed over a two year period and several thousand regular officers were put out on the street. Fortunately for me I was not among them. I confess to having very relieved when I was selected for civil schooling for an MA and a promotion in the Regular Army. pl

  6. walrus says:

    As long as our withdrawal doesn’t end like it did for the British in their First Afghan war….

  7. turcopolier says:

    The USMC should be left to cover the withdrawal. they love that stuff. pl

  8. mbrenner says:

    Isn’t it possible that this story is a plant – part of a bluff? After all, all of our strategic planning documents emphasis the importance of maintaining a network of bases – air bases and Special Ops bases – that, it is claimed, are essential to securing our interests in the region. This view also has been reiterated by our military chiefs in public on numerous occasions within the past year. Admittedly, a bit of shizophrenia is normal for this headless administration, but this would not the first time that parts of the Executive have been thinking and acting at cross-purposes. As Vali Nasr’s book documents, we had two policies on talking to the Taliban for a couple of years – and probably still do.

  9. turcopolier says:

    Turkish policy is not at American behest. They are just stupid fanatics in disguise. In re my post on Afghanistan it matters not if the BHO Administration think they are being clever. the underlying realities remain the same and their “cleverness” counts for nothing. pl

  10. VietnamVet says:

    Yes, it appears that an active duty RIF is in the works. But, the Washington Post has only mentioned the DOD civilian worker furloughs.
    One of the aftermaths of the Vietnam War was the Democrat’s 1970’s military downsizing that spurred the counter buildup during the Reagan Era. A more rational downsizing may have prevented the 21st century contractors’ privatization of the military.
    The draft of men to fight in an unwinnable war also led to the “Government is evil” radicals who along with “Greed is good” corporations now control America. Together with Israel First influence, this is the only explanation for the USA government’s arming of Syrian Jihadists.
    Privatizing war and the austerity cutbacks in government spending are both counter to American citizens’ best interests.

  11. Fred says:

    You are on target with these observations. Sadly one of Obama’s for henchmen, um ‘fund raisers’, the new dictator (i.e. emergency financial manager) is busy setting up the looting of Detroit’s assets including the pension fund, which is in far better shape than the state of Michigan’s.

  12. FB Ali says:

    I tend to agree with Dr Brenner that this NYT story is a (rather childish) attempt by Obama to put pressure on Karzai. Of course, Col Lang is perfectly correct in concluding that this ploy will not change the ground realities in Afghanistan.
    Apart from the ‘carpet-baggers’, hardly any Afghan is prepared to have US troops stay on in their country — except as a useful tool to use against their opponents.

  13. Tyler says:

    “Vietnam Redux”, yes I agree. And another generation gets to ask what was it all for, in the end?

  14. marcus says:

    Let’s hope a decent percentage of the voting public has retained the results of the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures and the bitterness is directed at the “deciders” of these disasters.
    Obama is a lot brighter than Bush but intelligence is a multifaceted trait. Smarts don’t immune you from foolishness.

  15. Would an analysis of the Karzai era as his just being one of several dominant warlords be correct?

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