Exactly a year before US President Barack Obama is scheduled to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, a new Afghanistan Rights Monitor report makes that deadline seem at best arbitrary and at worst ludicrous. As many as 1,074 civilians were killed in the first six months of this year, an increase from the same period last year, the report says—before adding that violence in the country has hit a peak not witnessed since the war began in 2001.
Little wonder that Said Jawad, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the US, has called Obama’s deadline unrealistic and warned that it could make “the enemy a lot more bold”. This may be a fine time for Obama to consider following John Maynard Keynes’ famous maxim. “When the facts change, I change my mind,” Keynes once said, and this report, on top of other news from Afghanistan and its border with Pakistan, certainly indicates that facts have changed since Obama ran for the presidency in 2008.