"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there," he told an audience at Cairo University.
He added the US plans to invest 1.5 billion dollars each year over the next five years in construction and aid money to the displaced in Pakistan, and 2.8 billion dollars to help Afghans develop their economy.
(Ahem) a small memo to President Obama:
You've just made the statement:
"Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there,"
If this is true, then what the Sam Hill is going on with the massive construction project at Camp Leatherneck?!?
As reported inhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQsdQAuKzZl3hMgVzG60jVJVgRiQ,
7 May, 2009:
"It's been real busy," said Captain Jeff Boroway from the 25th Naval Construction regiment.
"This place was desert at the end of January. I mean nothing. And now you've got a 443-acre (179-hectare) secure facility," he told reporters.
They are also expanding another US base in the southern city of Kandahar."
Forgive me, Mr. President, but the establishment of 443 acre "secure facility" sounds like the absolute opposite of "we seek no military bases there" to intelligent Afghans.
And that statement about "aid"; if the current plan to pour 4.3 billion billion dollars into the Afghan and Pakistani infrastructure does as well as has previous aid efforts, we might as well just close up shop and go home.
As reported in
in the article by An Jones in January of 2009, she reported:
"Whatever the truth of the matter, in the long run, it's not soldiers but services that count -- electricity, water, food, healthcare, justice and jobs. Had the U.S. delivered the promised services on time, while employing Afghans to rebuild their own country according to their own priorities and under the supervision of their own government -- a mini-Marshall Plan -- they would now be in charge of their own defense. The forces on the other side, which we loosely call the Taliban, would also have lost much of their grounds for complaint."
"Instead, the Bush administration perpetrated a scam. It used the system it set up to dispense reconstruction aid to both the countries it "liberated," Afghanistan and Iraq, to transfer American taxpayer dollars from the national treasury directly into the pockets of private war profiteers. Think of Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater in Iraq; Louis Berger Group, Bearing Point and DynCorp International in Afghanistan. They're all in it together"
Unless President Obama is actually able to hold collective corporate feet to the fire in terms of true accountability, the relief/reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is just as doomed to failure as were the relief/reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
And that's pretty ugly.