Obama Wants All U.S. Troops Out of Afghanistan by 2017

President Obama wants to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan next year, then shrink to a ‘normal embassy presence’ by 2017.

US Army soldiers attached to the 2nd platoon, C-Coy. 1-23 Infantry walk in line behind a designated mine-detecting device operator at Naja-bien village, notorious for IED caused injuries and deaths, in Panjwai district during a morning operation to find and destroy bomb traps made from IED's on September 23, 2012.
National Journal
Stephanie Gaskell, Defense One
Add to Briefcase
Stephanie Gaskell, Defense One
May 27, 2014, 9:30 a.m.

Amer­ica’s longest war just got a little longer. Pres­id­ent Barack Obama will an­nounce that he would like to keep 9,800 troops in Afgh­anistan to con­tin­ue fight­ing past the planned 2014 end of the war ““ and those troops would all leave by the end of 2016, ac­cord­ing to a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial.

The of­fi­cial said the pres­id­ent will make the an­nounce­ment in the Rose Garden on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon. “He will an­nounce that our com­bat mis­sion will be over by the end of 2014. He will make clear that we are open to con­tin­ued ef­forts in Afgh­anistan on two nar­row mis­sions after 2014: train­ing Afghan Forces and sup­port­ing [coun­terter­ror­ism] op­er­a­tions against the rem­nants of al Qaeda,” a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said. “We will only sus­tain a mil­it­ary pres­ence after 2014 if the Afghan gov­ern­ment signs the Bi­lat­er­al Se­cur­ity Agree­ment.”

Both of the lead­ing can­did­ates to suc­ceed Afghan Pres­id­ent Ham­id Kar­zai have said they would sign the agree­ment that would gov­ern Amer­ic­an forces serving in Afgh­anistan past this year. A run­off is planned, and could take weeks or months to com­plete. “As­sum­ing a BSA is signed, at the be­gin­ning of 2015, we will have 9,800 U.S. ser­vice mem­bers in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try, to­geth­er with our NATO al­lies and oth­er part­ners. By the end of 2015, we would re­duce that pres­ence by roughly half, con­sol­id­at­ing U.S. troops in Ka­bul and on Ba­gram Air­field. And one year later, by the end of 2016, we will draw down to a nor­mal Em­bassy pres­ence with a se­cur­ity as­sist­ance of­fice in Ka­bul, as we have done in Ir­aq,” the seni­or of­fi­cial said.

Obama made a sur­prise vis­it to Afgh­anistan over Me­mori­al Day week­end but did not meet with Kar­zai. Obama told the troops at Ba­gram Air Base that they had been suc­cess­ful in their mis­sion dur­ing the past 13 years of war in Afgh­anistan.

“With that bi­lat­er­al se­cur­ity agree­ment, as­sum­ing it is signed, we can plan for a lim­ited mil­it­ary pres­ence in Afgh­anistan bey­ond 2014. Be­cause after all the sac­ri­fices we’ve made, we want to pre­serve the gains that you have helped to win. And we’re go­ing to make sure that Afgh­anistan can nev­er again, ever, be used again to launch an at­tack against our coun­try,” Obama said.

There are cur­rently about 30,000 U.S. troops in Afgh­anistan, mostly ad­vising and as­sist­ing the Afghan se­cur­ity forces. The post-2014 force of 9,800 U.S. troops would be in ad­di­tion to a smal­ler num­ber of NATO troops

What We're Following See More »
NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
40 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
COMMISSIONERS NEED TO DELIBERATE MORE
FCC Pushes Vote on Set-Top Boxes
44 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Federal regulators on Thursday delayed a vote on a proposal to reshape the television market by freeing consumers from cable box rentals, putting into doubt a plan that has pitted technology companies against cable television providers. ... The proposal will still be considered for a future vote. But Tom Wheeler, chairman of the F.C.C., said commissioners needed more discussions."

Source:
UNTIL DEC. 9, ANYWAY
Obama Signs Bill to Fund Government
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
REDSKINS IMPLICATIONS
SCOTUS to Hear Case on Offensive Trademarks
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"The Supreme Court is taking up a First Amendment clash over the government’s refusal to register offensive trademarks, a case that could affect the Washington Redskins in their legal fight over the team name. The justices agreed Thursday to hear a dispute involving an Asian-American rock band called the Slants, but they did not act on a separate request to hear the higher-profile Redskins case at the same time." Still, any precedent set by the case could have ramifications for the Washington football team.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Bannon Still Collecting Royalties from ‘Seinfeld’
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at a little-known intersection of politics and entertainment, in which Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon is still raking in residuals from Seinfeld. Here's the digest version: When Seinfeld was in its infancy, Ted Turner was in the process of acquiring its production company, Castle Rock, but he was under-capitalized. Bannon's fledgling media company put up the remaining funds, and he agreed to "participation rights" instead of a fee. "Seinfeld has reaped more than $3 billion in its post-network afterlife through syndication deals." Meanwhile, Bannon is "still cashing checks from Seinfeld, and observers say he has made nearly 25 times more off the Castle Rock deal than he had anticipated."

Source:
×