In a curious conundrum for both U.S. foreign policy and the Obama presidential legacy, U.S. bombs are still falling in Afghanistan and Iraq, even while President Barack Obama’s administration takes credit for ending the war in both countries. President Obama has continuously stated he ended the Iraq and Afghan wars, however his authorization of airstrikes in the regions continue to elicit doubt in many quarters, including the American people.
Deep into the night on Tuesday, Afghan officials reported air strikes conducted on Kunduz, a northern town in Baghlan province, that fell to the Taliban’s control on Monday. The strikes continued until Afghan special forces arrived at about midnight. The strikes commenced at 11:30 pm and again rained loose on unsuspecting militia at 1 a.m.
According to an American military spokesman, as the air strikes were being conducted, soldiers designated to the American Special Forces rushed out to the Afghan city to fight alongside Afghan commandos.
The reports on Tuesday left many wondering what U.S. troops were doing fighting in Afghanistan more than a year after they were pulled out of the war zone. Obama, speaking before a DSCC fundraiser in July, took pride in how his administration “ended two wars.” He was referring to the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Just earlier before in May, National Security Adviser Susan Rice had said, “Now that we have ended two wars responsibly, and brought home hundreds of American troops, we salute this new generation of veterans.”
Analysts are now asking what U.S. troops are doing deep in Afghan territory on a Tuesday in the dead of the night. Even more worrying is that these raids are being conducted without the support of Congress.
Obama has curved a niche for himself as a trigger happy president who certainly doesn’t shy off from calling air strikes even when Congress does not approve of them. Back in June 2011, Congress disapproved of continued U.S. operations in Libya. However, Obama maintained seasoned air strikes in certain territories in the region.
The U.S’s sustained offensive I Afghanistan and Iraq has got to explained. While war torn nations such as Syria and Yemen have limited air U.S. assistance, present troops fighting in the Afghanistan will erode Obama’s popular narrative of ending both wars.