Who will be the last NATO member troops is a given, it is the United State. The question is what will that date be? Our NATO partners have already left the starting gate and are accelerating the withdrawal of their troops and funding. Are we going to be the cheese who stands alone?
The House of Representatives wants to keep 68,000 troops Afghanistan for the year 2013 and 2014. The Department of Defense has not objected to these force levels for 2013 and 2014, it delays their force reduction trials and tribulations. Several groups (Think Tanks) have proposed that the troop level in the out years should be around 30,000 troops. The Department of Defense has been strangely quiet on the post 2014 troop levels.
The United Senate just past a resolution passed by 62 members of the Senate asking the administration to accelerate the withdraw United States forces from Afghanistan.
Why not, if you believe the various NATO/DOD reported by statements of the various leaders, and by written documentation say that the ANA is ready willing and able to assume the lead in counter terrorism missions, then it appears to be a no brainer, to quote the Nike Corporation slogan “Just Do It”.
Let us just declare victory, leave, and quit spending the money. Some have suggested that it will take at least 30 Billion dollars per year to keep and support a proposed 30,000 troops post 2014 footprint in Afghanistan. If we want to keep the troops in the Service so be it, keep them in the United States. I will content that it is better to spend the estimated 30 Billion dollars within the confines of the United States and reap the rewards rather than boost the economy of some foreign government.