Obama Halts Afghanistan Drawdown And His Critics Still Pounce

Obama Halts Afghanistan Drawdown And His Critics Still Pounce

President Barack Obama, predictably, framed his long-expected decision to slow the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as a slight change in plans, a healthy response to a reinvigorated partnership with Afghan leadership, and the latest strategy update to reflect the assessments of U.S. military commanders on the ground. And critics of Obama’s national security strategy, predictably, used the announcement to get in their “I told you so’s,” calling the shift a response to their own warnings that failure to extend the drawdown timeline would turn Afghanistan into “another Iraq.”

“At our peak four years ago, the United States had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan,” Obama said Tuesday in a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. “In support of today’s narrow mission, we have just under 10,000 troops there. Last year I announced a timeline for drawing down our forces further, and I made it clear that we’re determined to preserve the gains our troops have won.”

“My national security team and I’ve decided that we will maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops through the end of this year,” Obama said, citing Ghani’s requests for flexibility and consultations with his top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell. “This flexibility reflects our reinvigorated partnership with Afghanistan, which is aimed at making Afghanistan secure and preventing it from being used to launch terrorist attacks.”

Read More:Obama Halts Afghanistan Drawdown And His Critics Still Pounce – Defense One.

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