Extraction from the Middle East

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There has been much debate in recent years among politicians, military officials, and civilians on whether or not the U.S. should be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan, regardless of the country’s economic and military capabilities. There has also been a proposed timetable, which President Obama says is in effect and currently being executed, to have up to ninety percent of our military personnel out of the country by no later than 2014. It is imperative that we extract our forces out of Afghanistan and end our eleven year occupation within the country. Starting off with reasons why it is in the best interests of the U.S. to withdraw from the Middle East is the fact that U.S. presence in Afghanistan has emboldened Al Qaeda. From a outsiders position, Al Qaeda has been able to grow its financial and membership base outsideof Afghanistan, and numbers fewer than 100 members in that country, according to military experts(ABC News 2010). While they may reappear in Afghanistan once U.S. soldiers withdraw, they are no longer dependent on that country for their training bases and could easily remain in Pakistan, Iraq, or any other nearby country. Instead, they point to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) occupation as evidence of the western powers evil agenda and use the ongoing war as a recruiting tool to bolster its forces. Withdrawal from Afghanistan will not move the war’s frontline from overseas back to the U.S. Military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with drone bombings of Pakistan, remain a critical aggravation to the people of those countries and is a primary tool for recruitment of so-called “freedom fighters”. However, there is no evidence that moving the armies from overseas back to the continental United States will expose Americans to danger here at home. Withdrawals from the war-torn country will likely result in a collapse of the international recruitment of fighters. The training of Afghan defenses and security forces is not a reason to stay and burden our troops. U.S. military and NATO plans currently project the ongoing training of Afghan defense and security forces for another 2-3 years, at minimum. They recommend that the local defense forces will eventually number in the range of 300-400,000 (NATO 2012). However, such numbers are economically unsupportable in a nation where the national government has an annual budget of only $750 million. The government would be unable to keep paying the salaries of these security forces once they are trained and able to fight on their own. While some assistance may be needed, thousands of foreign soldiers and years of training to aid the poverty stricken country will not change the financial situation. The occupation is damaging to the population, women and children especially. There is great concern among well-meaning Americans to not abandon the women and children of Afghanistan to the repressive regime of the Taliban. This is because the Taliban recruit young children, usually by excessive force, and turn them into members of their militia. Actions of the past eight years show how little the military presence has helped the women of the country, but rather have created millions of homeless families as well. The conflict and presence of American troops have only made things worse. As the military withdraws, there will be a need for peace, development, and women’s organizations to help Afghan women in building up their social standing while defending their rights. At the center of debate, however, is the question of whether the average U.S. voter will continue to believe that Afghanistan and the Taliban pose a serious threat to U.S. national security interests at home. The complications of dealing with Al Qaeda, with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, wastes hundreds of billions of dollars from the national treasury that could go to serve the real human needs, such as providing healthcare and distributing financial aid where it would best serve the...
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