U.S. troops are approaching their 13th year in Afghanistan. Obama has promised that he will bring the troops home by Christmas, 2014.
The Taliban’s slogan is about to be fulfilled. “You have the watches. We have the time.”
But there is a glitch. Not all of the troops will be coming home. They will stay behind, if Hamid Karzai signs a deal by the end of the year.
Karzai has announced that he will not sign a deal until next April, when there will be elections in Afghanistan.
The elections are very important. They will decide which political faction will surrender to the Taliban.
The Obama administration says it really will pull out all troops by the end of 2014 if Karzai does not sign the agreement this year.
“They are bluffing,” he says.
“We’re not,” an unnamed American official says.
Karzai’s next step would be to double-dog dare Obama to pull out completely.
Obama is expected to say he really will pull out all of the troops if Karzai refuses to sign by December 31. Then Karzai will have to play his trump card: the triple-dog dare.
Karzai said that the Obama has waited this long. Why not wait until April?
We read in the authoritative Washington Post, which is now owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos,
As the elaborate game of diplomatic chicken neared a climax, the Obama administration was publicly silent Saturday, while continuing talks in private.
U.S. officials in Washington said they were heartened by statements coming out of the loya jirga, where some members seemed to “understand the importance of signing sooner rather than later,” a senior administration official who was not authorized to discuss the tense situation said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The bigger question is this: How does Mr. Karzai’s successor expect to keep the Taliban from replacing him in 2015?
A lesser question is this: What nation will be Mr. Karzai’s new residence in late 2014?
Then there is this question: Why are U.S. troops still in Afghanistan?
Also this: Why did U.S. troops get sent into Afghanistan in 2001?
And this: After the Taliban retakes control, what will be the official response of the President of the United States? How will he spin the story? Will he use the tried and true: “It was Bush’s fault. He got us in there.” Or will he invoke this? “No one told me that www.GetUsOut.gov was not finished.”