Before President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union speech, the White House published a list of President Obama’s supposed foreign policy achievements while in office under the title “The Record.”
Included in the list under the sub-heading “Strength Through National Security and American Values” was the claim that Obama “responsibly ended the U.S. combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing home some 90 percent of the nearly 180,000 American troops deployed in those countries when President Obama took office.” On the side of that claim is a blurb that linked to Obama’s official statement on ending the combat mission in Afghanistan.
But while the White House spends its time trying to construct the most favorable narrative for President Obama’s legacy, the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and seems likely to draw the U.S. back in.
As recently as today, terrorist attacks are continuing throughout the country with militants claiming affiliation with ISIS now part of the power struggle. The perpetually corrupt U.S.-backed government in Kabul has yet to ever win enough popular support to create stability or defeat its rivals.
The U.S. has responded to ISIS’ presence in Afghanistan by declaring it a foreign terrorist organization even though, as noted by The New York Times, the Afghan ISIS affiliate is “mostly made up of former Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members.”
That declaration will, in effect, provide justification for further U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. war with ISIS. The war in Afghanistan will go on.
Despite a decade-plus war with the U.S., the Afghan Taliban remain strong and in control of large swaths of territory. Even with superior resources, weapons, and a large-scale occupying army, the U.S. has been completely ineffective at destroying the Taliban. So ineffective that the U.S. is currently trying to make peace with the Taliban.
But even if a peace agreement is signed with the Taliban, the agreement will be pretty worthless to the people of Afghanistan if the U.S. just starts up a new war against the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan.