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Obama to Withdraw from Afghanistan by the End of 2016

Updated 3:17 pm ET

Speaking in the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama announced that the United States will withdraw all combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.

Obama will reduce the current contingent of 32,000 troops to 9,800 by the end of 2014, cut the total to about 5,000 in 2015, and then establish a normal U.S. diplomatic presence in the country the following year.

Everything is contingent on the Afghanis agreeing to sign a deal that would keep U.S. troops in the country. Both men contending for the presidency have said they would sign.

Of course, Obama has come in below what was recommended to him by military commanders, who said at least 10,000 troops should remain in country.

The timetable also seems informed by Obama’s desire to end the Afghan war on his watch – and be able to take credit for doing so – with operations concluding just before a new president takes office.

The troops that remain this year will support Afghani counterterrorism missions – and I presume, conduct some on their own – but next year they will be consolidated in Kabul and on Bagram Air Base.

42 thoughts on “Obama to Withdraw from Afghanistan by the End of 2016”

      1. Obama = DEFEAT & RETREAT from Iraq/Afgahnistan.


        1. No, Obama just = retreat from Taliban/Al Qaeda
          Afghanistan was not a defeat because we followed Osama there and killed him.
          However, with that said, just because we defeat Osama never meant we should have stopped there. Hell Obama didn’t defeat Al Qaeda just their leader. Then he let them regenerate. But getting out of Afghanistan has nothing to do with retreating from the war. But, letting all this other shit happen in libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, (moving out of) Iraq (which was very close to a stable democracy and ally believe it or not), and other countries is a retreat and defeat by Al Qaeda and Terrorism. We should have destroyed the remaining Al Qaeda While we could have but instead we sat back and let it recover.

      1. I’m using Firefox and I got that error message a few times yesterday and last night. It’s the first time I’ve seen it. I just clicked my back button and my comment did post, despite that error message.

    1. Give that woman reporter from Real Clear Politics a big fat cigar! At least she was able to get ‘in his face’, which is more than the WH press corps will be allowed to do after he comes out to the Rose Garden, or wherever, to make his announcement.
      Six years…and this little coward refuses to answer questions! Six years! He just sticks his nose up in the air, turns on his heel, and walks out, Unbelieveable.
      I don’t know why the WH reporters bother to show up. Can’t they go on strike?

  1. Mr. Koffler,
    I am a US VET and student of World History…
    When this Obama says “withdraw” from that historic shit-hole called ‘Afganistan’…
    ~It really means DEFEAT & RETREAT… No one from Alexander The Great, to the Persians, to the Indians, to the British, to the Soviet Union… have ever controlled that cess-pool in the moutains called ‘Afganistan’…
    -If We ever get the chance We should just drop a few dozens NUKES on the place and let them start all over :-)

      1. “Keep the Taliban at bay”? Right, because that policy has worked so well up to this point. The Taliban will be back in power ten minutes after all the troops have been killed off or “withdrawn”, and frankly, I don’t give a damn.

  2. We’ll have troops back in there by 2020, and the place will be an even bigger mess than it is now. It’s going to go from SNAFU to FUBAR just that fast.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

    1. OK, I’ll bite. We won’t have troops back there because with another 2 1/2/ years left the Obama damage to the military will take longer than 4 years to recover from. We won’t have troops to send.

    2. By 2020 Iran will have developed and used a nuclear weapon on Israel prompting a retaliatory strike.
      Won’t be much left to return to.

      1. …I look forward to Israel turning most of Iran into a ‘parking lot’ with their “retaliatory strike” ;-)

        1. Israel would launch a PRE-EMPTIVE strike if they thought Iran was close enough.

          And they’d most likely get quite a bit of back-channel help from other Arab states which don’t care so much for Iran’s shenanigans.

          I have a hunch that the details of that arrangement are being very quietly, and very carefully, worked out behind the scenes right now.

          I doubt even the Saudis think that the idea of a nuclear arms race in that part of the world would be a good thing. If Iran did get the bomb, sure, they may well wipe Israel off the map, and possibly take a few American cities, too. But that would be it for the “good” news, as far as the Arab street sees it.

          Because then, along comes the arms race. And the prospect of a whole lot of petrodollar satrapies using nukes to settle age-old scores ought to scare the living daylights out of every human being on the planet.

          AND send the price of oil into low Earth orbit…which is why we should be building the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s all connected, see?

    3. There’s an old rule to keep in mind if a country is engaged in a war. Be determined to win decisively and with utmost finality, or don’t go to war at all. When we violate this rule we end up with a North Korea.


  4. …If Alexander the Great had his way in ‘Afghanistan’ he would have used Nuclear Weapons :-) so he could have marched his army all the way to the East…

  5. If this is not done correctly, it could become a Viet Nam withdrawal debacle from which we now have over 1 million immigrants.
    In 2008, the Vietnamese born were the fifth largest immigrant group in the United States after immigrants from Mexico, the Philippines, India, and China (see Table 1; see also the pie charts showing the top 10 countries of birth of immigrants residing in the United States over time here).
    What will Iraq and Afghanistan hold for immigration? The Taliban and ruling Muslim sects will determine the final number….

    1. 0blamea doesn’t give a CRAP about anything but his precious “fundamental transformation of the United States of America”… EVERYTHING else is irrelevant…

  6. Gee… how convenient that the POLITICS of the American election cycle dictates the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan…

    Whoda thunk our election cycle would coincide so well with the MILITARY situation on the ground? It’s a miracle, I tell ya!

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