Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced on Saturday that the United States will slow down military withdrawal from Afghanistan, reported CommonDreams.
Addressing journalists in Kabul, Carter said the administration is “rethinking” its mission in Afghanistan in order to ensure that there will be lasting progress in the country after the US military finally leaves. Several times the Obama administration has pushed back its deadline on full military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Our priority now is to make sure this progress sticks,” said Carter. “That is why President Obama is considering a number of options to reinforce our support for President Ghani’s security strategy, including possible changes to the timeline for our drawdown of U.S. troops.”
The Guardian reported on the issue:
On Feb. 11, the White House said Ghani had requested “some flexibility in the troop drawdown timeline” and that the administration was “actively considering” that. A day later, Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that he had presented U.S. leaders with several options that would allow him to better continue training and advising Afghan forces, particularly through this summer’s peak fighting season.
What began as a mission to find and kill Osama bin Laden has turned into a military stalemate that has entrenched the United States military for well-over a decade in Afghanistan. Each year, we are promised that American military operations will cease in Afghanistan, but that promise has never been delivered.
The original plan was to cut our military presence by half this year, and establish a “normal” American embassy by 2016. However, this new announcement marks a change in that schedule, and no one knows when we will leave. Americans are war-weary, and that applies to civilians, let alone military members. It’s time to bring the troops home.