The standing joke in the world of politics is that campaign promises are often broken. But much like the old school Mafiosos unwritten law that women and kids are off limits, it’s widely understood within the Washington, DC belt line that our troops in uniform aren’t to have their collective fates carelessly bandied about in the form of balloon juice by any given politician.
Nonetheless, as reported by the Reuters news service and also by the Independent Newspapers consortium (IOL.com) of Cape Town, South Africa, both on Nov. 30, 2014, what began as whispers in the shadows of the corridors of power in the nation’s capital has been verified as true. While unconfirmed reports of reliable sources bubbling to the surface by Reuters (via the Washington Free Press) as early as last week that the United States would leave upwards of 10,000 troops available for combat actually in-country, most American media organizations seem to have forgotten the Team Obama – Biden campaign promise of 2012 that clearly and without reservation promised something quite different.
Overseas news organs, such as The Philippines Star have verified that 9,800 American troops will remain in-country, while typical American news sources, much like the cited report from Reuters have generically reported that only a “few thousand” American troops will be the bulwark of the 12,000 man NATO contingent, ostensibly slated to train and advise the Afghan National Army.
With mention by the American press on the rare side, Obama has quietly authorized the remaining U.S. military “to engage the Taliban in combat if necessary.” Also, Reuters claims of their reliable but anonymous sources tell them that other than the 9,800 committed, “at least a few hundred above and beyond that.” Also missing from the vast majority of U.S. coverage was that of the 9,800 troops slated to remain in-country, almost 2,000 of our military contingent are earmarked “for a separate anti-terrorism operation.”
As evidenced by Joe Biden’s recorded for posterity comments during the 2012 Vice Presidential Debates against challenger Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the ticket of Obama – Biden promised a complete withdrawal of American forces from the Afghanistan Theater of War by 2014. With little room for equivocation, Vice President Biden stated, “With regard to Afghanistan, he [Obama] said he will end the war in 2014.” Later in the debate, the Veep also painted a clear picture that no Americans would be involved in any combat operations, “… we will not go on joint patrols. We will not train in the field. We’ll only train in the — in the Army bases that exist there. But we are leaving. We are leaving in 2014. Period.”
Later in the debate, Rep. Ryan defended his and running mate Mitt Romney’s position as to not have a set date to withdrawal all American troops, “what any administration will do in 2013 is assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline. What we do not want to do…” It was then that Biden interrupted by flatly stating, “We will leave in 2014.”