Afghanistan: We're Never Leaving

Talk about asymmetrical warfare. Listen as General John Allen, and Scott Pelley, break down the troop numbers in Afghanistan.

The US has 98,000 troops here, plus 40,000 from NATO... and you can add to that 300,000 Afghanistan troops.

That's 438,000 for us - going up against 50 al Qaeda and Taliban that Allen puts in the "low thousands."

Allen: There's probably in the low thousands.

Pelley: Low thousands.... ten thousand - fewer?

Allen: Again... Fewer. Much fewer.

How long will we have troops in Afghanistan?

Pelley: What you're saying is, the United States isn't leaving Afghanistan in the foreseeable future.

Allen: Well, that's an important message.

Could it be that the decision of how long to fight our wars, and how many will fight them, isn't really a policy decision, but rather a business decision? Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic, Lost, says our government has been sold out to corporate interests.

The framers of our Constitution, in giving us a representative democracy, imagined as Federalist 52 put it, a branch that would be dependent upon the people alone. But our Congress is not dependent upon the people alone. The people who spend 30 to 70 percent of their time raising money (members of congress) obviously have a different kind of dependency, a dependency upon the funders and the funders are not the people.

Lessig's comments were made this week on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.