There will never be a perfect time to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, President Obama said on Monday at the close of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago. But after 10 years of war, the timetable the U.S. and it’s allies have established is “a responsible one.”
“I don't think there's ever going to be an optimal point where we can say, this is great, this is where we wanted it, and now we can wrap up all our equipment and go home. There's a process, and it's sometimes a messy process,” Obama said.
But “the Afghan security forces themselves will not ever be prepared if they don't start taking that responsibility,” Obama added. “And frankly, the large footprint that we have in Afghanistan over time can be counterproductive.”
“I think the timetable we've established is a sound one, it's a responsible one. Are there risks involved in it? Absolutely. Can I anticipate that over the next two years, there are going to be some bad moments along with some good ones? Absolutely,” Obama said. “But I think it is the appropriate strategy.”