Why can’t we just stay in Afghanistan forever?

The last decade has seen an explosion in private security and intelligence companies making a killing in the “war on terror”.

And now, with growing anger towards both mercenaries and the Western occupying forces that use them, this suggestion seems both delusional and symptomatic of the rot that imperial thinking guarantees:

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is intent on barring private security contractors and Afghans from guarding U.S. bases in… Afghanistan, a move that could complicate President Barack Obama’s timetable for withdrawing American forces after more than a decade of war.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., introduced the legislation on Thursday in response to the insider attacks by Afghan security forces against U.S. and other coalition troops. McKeon held a hearing last month in which the military said more than 45 insider attacks have occurred since 2007 – 75 percent in the past two years.

In a recent spate of anti-American violence touched off by the burning of Muslim holy books at a U.S. base last week, two U.S. troops were gunned down by two Afghan soldiers and an accomplice on Thursday. All told, six Americans have been killed by their Afghan partners in recent days.

“War is bad enough that we put our young people out there at risk,” McKeon said in an interview taped for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” “They shouldn’t have to worry about security within the base.”

The legislation would require the president to ensure that there are enough trained members of the military to fight the war in Afghanistan as well as provide security for American troops. If the president refuses, he must certify to Congress that private security contractors or the Afghan Public Protection Force can provide protection that is at least equal to the U.S. military.

The bill would prohibit the president from shifting troops from current operations in Afghanistan to protect bases. Such a step would force the president to increase the number of troops in the country – a move certain to face strong opposition in a war-weary Congress.


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