Obama prepared to leave no troops in Afghanistan after 2014


#1

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has told the Pentagon to prepare for the possibility that the United States will not leave behind any troops in Afghanistan after its troop drawdown at the end of this year, the White House said on Tuesday.
Obama said he had given the order to the Pentagon in a phone call on Tuesday to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has refused to sign a bilateral security agreement that the United States insists it must have before agreeing to leave a contingent of troops behind.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was carrying the modified U.S. position to Brussels for discussion during a meeting with NATO defense ministers that starts on Wednesday.
“Specifically, President Obama has asked the Pentagon to ensure that it has adequate plans in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014,” the White House said.
reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-afghanistan-usa-obama-idUSBREA1O1B420140225?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=992637

Here is the memo from the Sec of Defense:
Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Afghanistan

"At President Obama’s direction, and with my strong support, the Department of Defense will move ahead with additional contingency planning to ensure adequate plans are in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014
.
"This is a prudent step given that President Karzai has demonstrated that it is unlikely that he will sign the Bilateral Security Agreement, which would provide DoD personnel with critical protections and authorities after 2014. I appreciate the efforts of General Dunford and our military leaders to provide flexibility to the President as we work to determine the future of our presence in Afghanistan.

"As the United States military continues to move people and equipment out of the Afghan theater, our force posture over the next several months will provide various options for political leaders in the United States and NATO. And during this time DoD will still continue planning for U.S. participation in a NATO-led mission focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan security forces, as well as a narrowly focused counterterrorism mission.

"The United States will consult closely with NATO Allies and ISAF Partners in the months ahead, and I look forward to discussing our planning with NATO and ISAF defense ministers in Brussels this week. "

defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=16550


#2

I thought one of his campaign promises before he was elected the first time was to get them out?


#3

Personally, I am glad that he is bringing the troops home. I have to wonder if Afghanistan is prepared to defend itself from the Taliban though.


#4

I have mixed feelings.

My initial reaction is “Good! Let that ingrate Karzai deal with the Taliban all on his lonesome. Maintaining Karzai in his current status isn’t worth one more American life, or one more American dollar.”

On the other hand, we all know that after we leave, possibly within a year, the Taliban will once again be in control of most of Afghanistan, if not all of it, once again inflicting the misery of their social system on the rest of the population of that benighted country. That will certainly be something worth weeping about, if I could weep.

No matter what happens (short of a country-wide theophany and a miraculous conversion of the entire population to Christianity), there is nothing here to feel good about.


#5

Afghanistan is already owned by the Taliban. Most regions have already fallen…same is happening in Iraq. Its not a question of if it will happen its already happening and we know it. I served in the Military and our boys know that we started something that we need to finish no matter the timeline. Many of them are professional soldiers and they understand the sacrifice they are making. We need to stay and crush the Taliban and al queida in Iraq. Leaving will pose an even greater threat to our country and will certainy seal the fate of all those who have aided us…


#6

Praise the LORD! The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan were uncalled for. Just because 50 terrorists committed an atrocious act against the US doesn’t mean we should have invaded other countries in retribution of the small groups actions then kill hundred of thousands of their citizens.


#7

Of course it isn’t.

But some of the tribal groups could have if we had focused on arming and training them alone. Remember, the Northern Alliance once ruled most of the place.


#8

You’re right. I didn’t think they was ready either. I wondered but I figured they weren’t.

I am just worried that the Taliban will take over once more and the place will once again be a training ground of Al Qaeda as it was before 9/11.


#9

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