Professor of Mythological Studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California
American military bases have a tendency of becoming pretty permanent and when they weigh heavily on the local population, dismantling them becomes impossible because of the vested interests of the military-industrial-congressional complex.
Demanding immunity from prosecution infringes upon Afghan sovereignty and undermines the authority of the very constitution Americans 'helped' promulgate as the cornerstone of Afghanistan's 'imported' democracy.
The hefty price the Afghans are being asked to pay harks back to a time when Afghans ended up at the losing end of a series of unequal treaties they were coerced into signing with Western powers beginning with the 1809 Anglo-Afghan Treaty of Peshawar.
President Karzai obviously doesn't want to be condemned by history's past or by the circumstances of the present public outcry over the humiliating intrusions in their lives by U.S. and NATO forces. Karzai's oft-ignored pleas have at best garnered an apology. Perhaps this is why he showed some uncharacteristic spine and strength...
Because the distance and remote location of Afghanistan makes the war most profitable for military contractors and war profiteers and because the illusory, but vilified, nature of the enemy makes this an ideal war with dividends in rank and ransom, one understands why the Afghan war has become the longest in U.S. history and why the Pentagon wants to turn it into a perpetual war by insisting on leaving behind a residual force.
Afghanistan Exit Strategy: How Bilateral Is the Security Agreement
These are clear indications that the U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan still operates on the basis of a military strategy and not a peace plan -- a critical distinction that was either lost on the policy makers in Washington or it was deliberately ignored from the beginning. This genre of American exceptionalism is intent on making more enemies than it can fight.