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Fair,52°
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Alfonse D'Amato
Let's get out of Afghanistan and give Karzai his sovereignty

In a day and age when we are furloughing U.S. workers, cutting back programs, fighting over how to reduce the deficit and raising taxes, it’s hard to believe that taxpayers are footing a $2 billion-a-week bill — over $100 billion a year — to maintain our troops in Afghanistan.

A corrupt and incompetent government headed by a sleazy and incompetent leader, Hamid Karzai, is stealing a good portion of that money.

The U.S. has a self-imposed deadline of December 2014 for American forces to leave Afghanistan. I believe it is imperative for the Obama administration to consider pulling our troops out now.

There is nothing wrong with admitting that no matter how well-intentioned our efforts in Afghanistan have been, they have been unsuccessful and a lost cause due to a corrupt government. It’s time to admit the obvious instead of wasting our time, resources and lives helping a crook. It’s a shame to see the U.S. tuck its tail for a petty dictator like Karzai. His time as a puppet president has been nothing but a failure.

Top Afghan generals, including Karzai’s brother, who is rumored to be the biggest drug dealer in the country, have been accused of stealing tens of millions of dollars worth of drugs, yet not one member of Karzai’s inner circle has been brought up on charges. Instead, he has been protecting his brother while he profits.

Stories are rampant about the corruption of the Afghan National Bank, where billions have been lost, much of it American taxpayers’ money. These crooks are so brazen that they actually ship tons of U.S. cash out on airplanes to safe havens throughout the world.

Nothing will change if we wait until 2014 to pull our troops out of Afghanistan. The violence will only continue. Let’s bring our troops home and use them to help secure our borders. Let’s use the $100 billion a year to rescue ourselves from fiscal crisis.

In mid-March, Karzai suggested that the U.S. government and the Taliban have a “common goal” of destabilizing Afghanistan. He even had the audacity to say that we have been complicit with the Taliban.

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