Without U.S. Congressional debate and with minimum public discourse and near absence of media notice or news, headlines or editorials, op/ed columns or speeches, the longest ongoing war in U.S. history has just been memorialized by agreement/treaty to continue another ten years.
On October 7, 2001, 13 years ago, the U.S. launched the opening attacks against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom, the longest continuous war in American history, had begun. The October agreement acts to commit the U.S. to a quarter century war that when combined with the first Iraq war, which began in 1990, and public statements made this week to the effect of “another 20 or 30 years” in Iraq, commits the U.S. to a half century war in the Mideast.
This fifty year estimate does not take into account escalation beyond Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
A policy of “Long war” is rolling out year by year… decade by decade.
Via the Guardian
New Afghanistan pact means America’s longest war will last until at least 2024
- Bilateral security deal ensures that President Obama will pass off the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor
The longest war in American history will last at least another decade, according to the terms of a garrisoning deal for US forces signed by the new Afghanistan government.
- Long awaited and much desired by an anxious U.S. military, the deal guarantees that U.S. and NATO troops will not withdraw by year’s end, and permits their stay “until the end of 2024 and beyond.”
- The agreement ensures that Barack Obama, elected president in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, will pass off both the Afghanistan war and his new war in Iraq and Syria to his successor. In 2010, his vice-president, Joe Biden, publicly vowed the US would be “totally out” of Afghanistan “come hell or high water, by 2014.”
More on “Long War” from the Daily Beast
From the Boston Globe
October 8, 2014
According to the latest Pentagon statistics, US combat aircraft dropped more bombs on Taliban and other militant targets in August than it had in any single month in two years — and nearly triple the monthly average since January.
Officials said they were still compiling the bombing statistics for September but the recent uptick in air attacks in Afghanistan comes as the United States is preparing to pull out about half of its 24,000 troops by the end of the year and curtail most combat operations.
The stepped-up campaign was viewed by some analysts as an effort to beat back recent Taliban gains ahead of the US drawdown.
October 7, 2014
With this week’s anniversary, however, the costs incurred already appear more evident than ever, and the length of the operation may be endless.
Combined with the only recently concluded war in Iraq, the financial toll of the Afghan war on Uncle Sam’s pocketbook could range in $4 trillion to $6 trillion, according to research published last year out of Harvard University. Additionally, the iCasualties website claims the US military has suffered 2,349 deaths during Operation Enduring Freedom — including 48 this year, or as many lives lost in that war in 2003 when it was still relatively new. Of that tally, Breitbart News recently reported, 1,649 deaths or about 75 percent, have occurred since the start Pres. Obama’s first term in early 2009.
It is appropriate to keep in mind, as we read the above clip from the Russian News that it was in Afghanistan that the last war of the former Soviet Union was fought and which was, in part, the war that ended the over extended Soviet system as it was and no longer is… The Glasnost, “openness”, that came over the USSR as the failure of propped up policy and ‘Cold War’ took its toll. It is perhaps ironic to read the RT point of view about endless war and costs as Russia attempts to reconstitute itself in a Putin era, still in a Post Cold War shock after Afghanistan and collapse of its economic system.
The extent of the U.S. policy failures, and entrenchment in continued war footing and spending, raises questions that extend far beyond the fields in Afghanistan and its history as a “graveyard of empires“.