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Huffington Post

Dark Omens for the U.S. in the Gathering Afghan Storm

 by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

Now officially in its ninth year since the invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. should have little reason to recount, in Chalmers Johnson’s words, the Sorrows of Empire. By now everyone on the planet knows by heart the tragic tale. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan without a clear understanding of its goals and after eight years remains as torn as ever over defining them. It was hoped that the incoming Obama administration and its new AfPak strategy would finally end the drift toward quagmire, but that hope is fading fast. Last week, AfPak architect Bruce Riedel revealed in the Financial Times that “Pretty much six months has since gone by without a rigorous implementation of what was agreed to and that has only made a bad situation worse.”

As Washington’s paralysis deepens and Afghanistan slips further into chaos, the U.S. faces a crisis of credibility. Can Washington shift its focus to nation-building and help the Afghan people restore their ravaged nation to health? Or should the U.S. continue to pursue what seems at this point an opium dream; hunting an elusive Al Qaeda, who are “believed” to be hiding in Pakistan? Last week one major player on the world scene made their opinion known, but nobody in the U.S. was listening.
Amidst the deafening internal debate in Washington, a startling event occurred. On Monday September 28, in the Chinese government owned English language newspaper China Daily, an article titled, “Afghan peace needs a map,” by Li Qinggong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, stated flatly that the time had come for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan: Read more 

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