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OBAMA BACKPEDALS: U.S. troops WILL remain in Afghanistan

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/28/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9,800 U.S. troops will remain: Tentative date for full pullout now set for 2016

The news is very bitter for nearly 10,000 United States serviceman who planned to be back home shortly. U.S. President Barack Obama now says that 9,800 troops will now stay in Afghanistan, after promises to withdraw by 2014. The president now says he intends to mostly end the U.S. presence by the end of 2016, senior administration officials said.

Afghanistan is about to elect a new president. The U.S. is looking past the tenure of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Obama by refusing to sign a bilateral security agreement.

Afghanistan is about to elect a new president. The U.S. is looking past the tenure of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Obama by refusing to sign a bilateral security agreement.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/28/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Afghanistan, U.S. troops, withdrawl, President Obama


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement by Obama is expected in a White House Rose Garden event today. The announcement means that the president will leave office in early 2017 with no measurable troop strength in Afghanistan.

The number of troops emerged after Obama met with U.S. military commanders at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan this past weekend. The Afghanistan conflict is by far the longest war in American history, which began following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

The U.S. now has about 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, along with NATO allies and others. Most of the U.S. forces will have been withdrawn by the end of 2014.

The 9,800 troops will remain behind into next year. Officials say that by the end of 2015, that number would be reduced by roughly half.

The U.S. presence would be cut to a normal embassy presence in 2016, with a security assistance office in Kabul, as has been done in Iraq.

Several Republican lawmakers greeted the news with skepticism. They're concerned that Obama was abandoning Afghanistan. There has been a steady stream of criticism of the president's handling of foreign policy and national security. The president is due to give a speech on the subject this week at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

"Holding this mission to an arbitrary egg timer doesn't make a lick of sense strategically," Republican Representative Howard McKeon says. McKeon chairs the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Obama was at risk of "repeating some of the same mistakes he made in Iraq," where sectarian violence escalated after the U.S. pullout.

Afghanistan is about to elect a new president. The U.S. is looking past the tenure of current Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Obama by refusing to sign a bilateral security agreement.

U.S. officials are expressing increasing confidence that the next Afghan president will sign the treaty, which Obama wants before the United States will agree to leave behind troops to help train Afghan forces and conduct operations against al-Qaeda.

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