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 »
ALL 100 SENATORS
Dem Senator Calls North Korea Briefing “Sobering”
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS
LOFTY GOALS
White House Proposes New Tax Plan
12 hours ago
BREAKING

The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Source:
EMERGING BUDGET FRAMEWORK?
Dems Proposes Obamacare-for-Defense Deal
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."

Source:
WHITE HOUSE BLOCKING DOC REQUEST
Michael Flynn Remains A Russian-Sized Problem
1 days ago
BREAKING

The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.

Source:
SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING
Sally Yates to Testify on May 8
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login