Obama plans Afghanistan troop withdrawal by 2016
With the timetable for this decision set squarely in a presidential election year, it will undoubtedly be a big campaign topic in the context of foreign policy and terrorism. Will Americans be eager to see the war in Afghanistan end with the removal of US troops or will there be fear that a complete withdrawal will see a rebirth of Islamic fundamentalism in the country?
Report from HeraldOnline.com:
Charting an end to America’s longest war, President Barack Obama announced plans Tuesday for keeping nearly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after this year but then withdrawing virtually all by the close of 2016 and the conclusion of his presidency.
The drawdown would allow Obama to bring America’s military engagement in Afghanistan to an end while seeking to protect the gains made in a war in which he significantly intensified U.S. involvement.
“We have to recognize that Afghanistan will not be a perfect place, and it is not America’s responsibility to make it one,” Obama declared during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden.
He credited American forces, which were first deployed by President George W. Bush within a month of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with striking significant blows against al-Qaida’s leadership, eliminating Osama bin Laden and preventing Afghanistan from being used as a base for strikes against the U.S. He said: “Now we’re finishing the job we’ve started.”
In the broader context, in your opinion, what has been accomplished in Afghanistan? Is the United States more safe or less safe having spent countless lives and years fighting the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the mountains?