War in Afghanistan

If his lips are moving, he’s probably lying: Obama goes back on campaign promise to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan

Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

“We are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. And I’ve set a timetable. We will have them all out of there by 2014.”

President Obama spoke these words at a campaign stop in Boulder, Colorado, just a few weeks before the 2012 Presidential election. Taking a swipe at Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who didn’t have a timetable for troop withdrawal, Obama warned, “That’s what’s at stake in this election.”

Nearly two years later, President Obama has decided to keep nearly 10,000 American soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan past the initial 2014 deadline, the Associated Press reports:

The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. While current Afghan President Hamid Karzai has declined to sign the agreement, U.S. officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him would give his approval.

The plan calls for the U.S. military to draw down from its current force of 32,000 to 9,800 by the start of next year. Those troops would be dispatched throughout Afghanistan and focus on counterterrorism missions and training Afghan security forces. They would not be engaged in combat missions.

Over the course of next year, the number of troops would be cut in half and consolidated in the capital of Kabul and at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan. Those remaining forces would largely be withdrawn by the end of 2016, with fewer than 1,000 remaining behind to staff a security office in Kabul.


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