US 'wants to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan long term'

Gabbar Singh

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Looks like Afghanistan is set to become another Germany or Japan where a massive number of American troops will remain for years. Add to this number their so called embassy staff/spies (like the 20,000+ Americans in Iraq) and one gets the feeling the American military and the CIA are planning to be in the region for decades to come.


US 'wants to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan long term'
The White House wants to keep around 10,000 American troops in Afghanistan as a long term presence as it considers what force to leave when combat duties end in 2014, senior US officials said.


The force would be far smaller than many commanders have suggested, amid acknowledgement of US disillusionment with the 11-year-old campaign and continued tensions with Kabul.

Gen John Allen, the US Marine who leads the Nato coalition, has proposed a range of options from keeping 6,000 troops up to 15,000, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The force would be restricted to training and supporting the Afghan police and army and carrying out special forces operations against the Taliban.

Barack Obama's administration favours a small deployment, believing it would be more acceptable to both the American and Afghan publics, the newspaper reported.

A final decision is expected to be made within weeks and Mr Obama will then decide how quickly to pull out the remainder of the 68,000 US troops currently in the country.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ep-10000-troops-in-Afghanistan-long-term.html
 
I'm sure that the motive is to have some forces in the region in case the democratic Afghan government and newly formed security forces are not able to maintain their grip on the evil that resides in the moutains.

How could we ever thank the US for being so concerned about our well-being?
 
I wonder if the UK will also maintain a presence there, or if our Coalition government will actually deliver on a proposal for once and bring everybody home.
 
I wonder if the UK will also maintain a presence there, or if our Coalition government will actually deliver on a proposal for once and bring everybody home.


Some special forces servicemen and training officers are set to stay. I imagine the American drones will be staying as well.


Special forces servicemen will stay in Afghanistan in anti-terror role

Up to 200 British troops will remain after the 2014 pull-out date, alongside 90 training officers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/20/special-forces-stay-in-afghanistan
 
they didn't spend billions of dollars to come to Afghanistan for 12 years only. They are not going anywhere. We knew this all along.
 
they didn't spend billions of dollars to come to Afghanistan for 12 years only. They are not going anywhere. We knew this all along.

Do you want the US forces to leave so that Good Taliban ( Pro-Pakistani ) captures Afghanistan once again ? Would you like to be beaten by Taliban police if you are found roaming on streets during the time of prayers or get your women shot in their heads in soccer stadiums ?
 
Do you want the US forces to leave so that Good Taliban ( Pro-Pakistani ) captures Afghanistan once again ? Would you like to be beaten by Taliban police if you are found roaming on streets during the time of prayers or get your women shot in their heads in soccer stadiums ?

Where does it say in my post that i want taliban back or i want US forces to leave?
 
Where does it say in my post that i want taliban back or i want US forces to leave?

No I just want to know what would an average Afghan prefer ? Pakistan establishment / ISI , as you might know would love Afghanistan to be under the clutches of Taliban once again but what would general Afghan people want ?
 
Great News from India's perspective. It means Pakistan forces will be kept busy on the Western Side and thus less resistance on the Eastern side against India .

Sponsorship of Jihad in Kashmir would remain in manageable limits.
 
Great News from India's perspective. It means Pakistan forces will be kept busy on the Western Side and thus less resistance on the Eastern side against India .

Sponsorship of Jihad in Kashmir would remain in manageable limits.

Your statement clearly has two sides, first when you talk about ''Pakistani forces resistance'' and then, thinking it looks too belligerant, you go back to the traditional fallacious blame of Jihad.

You know that you can change what you'vre written? You don't have to keep the crap just because you've tapped it...
 
Who is supplying arms to Taliban?

The source should be cut and that will cripple Afghan Taliban's resources. If they do not get ammunition, they cannot fight.

Whoever is supplying arms to Taliban should be found out and dealt with. Otherwise, USA and Afghan forces are fighting a losing battle.
 
No I just want to know what would an average Afghan prefer ? Pakistan establishment / ISI , as you might know would love Afghanistan to be under the clutches of Taliban once again but what would general Afghan people want ?

Taliban are the reason i am living here thousands of mile away from my family. I wouldn't want them back at all. i have lived under talib rule and the people hated them then and still do.

Only a minority illiterate afghans will want a talib rule back. Majority of afghans would want a peaceful and un corrupt democratic government. Unfortunately, it can't be said about the current government. as for the US troops. If they really are keeping the talibs and trouble makers away, then they can stay in Afghanistan without compromising afghan's rights, religion and culture.
 
Taliban are the reason i am living here thousands of mile away from my family. I wouldn't want them back at all. i have lived under talib rule and the people hated them then and still do.

Only a minority illiterate afghans will want a talib rule back. Majority of afghans would want a peaceful and un corrupt democratic government. Unfortunately, it can't be said about the current government. as for the US troops. If they really are keeping the talibs and trouble makers away, then they can stay in Afghanistan without compromising afghan's rights, religion and culture.

Good thing with democracy is that you can always boot out the corrupt Govt and vote for a better alternative. :msd
 
If they really are keeping the talibs and trouble makers away, then they can stay in Afghanistan without compromising afghan's rights, religion and culture.

that is a contradiction, why do you want them here? you as a n afghan should be free to choose your own leader(s) and a political solution is the only way. 10k troops means the war will go on indefinatley! Bad news for Pakistan but I doubt the veracity of this news at the present time.
 
No I just want to know what would an average Afghan prefer ? Pakistan establishment / ISI , as you might know would love Afghanistan to be under the clutches of Taliban once again but what would general Afghan people want ?
Where are you living in, a cave? Pakistan does not want Taliban to return to power. Every insider in Pakistan knows this. The 90's days are long gone. Pakistan is trying to create Taliban into a political force instead of a armed force, something both the American & the Afghans have appreciated (you can only imagine how it was for them to do that)!

Stay upto date with the news amigo.
 
Your statement clearly has two sides, first when you talk about ''Pakistani forces resistance'' and then, thinking it looks too belligerant, you go back to the traditional fallacious blame of Jihad.

You know that you can change what you'vre written? You don't have to keep the crap just because you've tapped it...
Quite wrong. Contary to pupular belief, Pakistan does not want US troops to have zero involvement in Afghanistan post 2014. Hina Rabbani even lashed out on Obama's quickness to run out of Afghanistan. A rush means that Afghanistan goes back into the civil war, something that will spill into Pakistan via FATA region. A stable Afghanistan means Pakistan can control the FATA region within months. Hence Pakistan is pushing for taliban to make peace with democracy in Afghanistan.
 
Getting close to decision time.


US to leave troops in Afghanistan after 2014, says German official

US defence secretary calls comments inaccurate and says Nato partners talked about range of options for post-2014


The US defence secretary, Leon Panetta, and his Nato counterparts are considering leaving 8,000 to 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, but a dispute arose on Friday between the US and Germany over whether the force would be international or purely American.

The conflicting accounts came as Nato defence ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss the endgame of the 11-year-old war. Barack Obama has said the last foreign combat troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The German defence minister, Thomas de Maizière, told reporters Panetta had told him at the meeting that the US would leave 8,000-10,000 troops in the country at the end of 2014. But Panetta, speaking to reporters later, called De Maizière's comments inaccurate

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/22/us-troops-afghanistan?CMP=twt_gu
 
Despite Gains, Leader of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Says Troops Must Stay

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan forces are now leading the fight here. They managed an air assault last week, for example, and they may be winning the respect of the Afghan people. But the bottom line for Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. is simple: Afghanistan still needs the United States and will for years to come.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/30/w...ays-troops-must-stay.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Dobbins: Total U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan unlikely

By Jamie Crawford

The Obama administration believes it will reach a deal with the government of Afghanistan that would allow American troops to remain in the country after the current NATO mission ends next year, the top U.S. diplomat in the region said Thursday.

The disclosure follows reports this week the administration was seriously considering an option of leaving no forces in the country after 2014.

"We do not believe that that's the likely outcome of these negotiations," James Dobbins, special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Pressed about reports on the so-called "zero option," Dobbins labeled them "unbalanced and unhelpful."

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/11/dobbins-total-u-s-troop-pullout-from-afghanistan-unlikely/
 
Well the new Afghan President will ultimately make this decision however the Americans have made their intentions clear.

Afghanistan’s presidential election, now apparently headed for a runoff stage, will mark the first peaceful transition of power in the history of that unfortunate country, ravaged by endless war since 1979. Displaying courage in the face of adversity, Afghans braved Taliban attacks and threats to vote in large numbers in the April 5 first round, whose still-partial results put former Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah in the lead, followed by former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.

After almost 35 years of bloodletting, Afghans are desperate for peace. President Hamid Karzai’s successor will has his work cut out for him, including promoting national reconciliation by building bridges among the country’s disparate ethnic and political groups; strengthening the fledgling, multiethnic Afghan Army; and ensuring free and fair parliamentary elections next year.

The role of external players, however, overshadows these internal dynamics. Pakistan remains a big part of Afghanistan’s problem. It still harbors militant sanctuaries and the command-and-control structure for Afghan insurgency. Pakistani interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs can be made to stop only if U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration finally makes that a condition for continuing its generous aid to cash-strapped Pakistan — a remote prospect.

Obama, meanwhile, has made a U-turn on the U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan and is now seeking bases there for a virtually unlimited period. He had declared in Cairo in 2009, “We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there.”

But in a change of heart, he now wants bases there to house a fairly sizable U.S.-led NATO force armed with authority to “conduct combat operations.” However, having failed to persuade Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement providing the legal basis for keeping U.S. bases indefinitely, Obama must win over the next Afghan president.


Although Kabul and Washington have finalized the agreement’s terms, Karzai withstood intense U.S. pressure to sign the document, leaving that critical decision to his successor. Karzai clearly didn’t want to go down in Afghan history as the main facilitator of a long-term foreign military presence.

The U.S., once it militarily intervenes in a country, has a penchant for not leaving. For example, U.S. military presence still continues in Japan and Germany from World War II. The fact that Iraq proved an exception to this pattern has made the appeal particularly strong in Washington to maintain bases in Afghanistan, where America is seeking to terminate the longest war in its history. American Gen. Joe Dunford, heading U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has identified 10,000 U.S. soldiers as the minimum needed to protect the bases and play a useful role.

Obama has proffered no explanation as to how a residual U.S.-led force could make a difference in Afghanistan when a much larger force is staring at defeat in an intervention that began almost 13 years ago. Yet there is bipartisan support in the U.S. to keep military bases in Afghanistan, largely to project hard power. Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has slammed Obama for failing to secure the accord with Karzai, saying even a “trained ape” could do better.

To be sure, America’s ongoing drawdown of troop levels in Afghanistan seeks to apply a key lesson from the Soviet military pullout from that nation — the critical importance of staggered and calibrated reductions. The 1988-89 Soviet withdrawal happened too rapidly. U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, which peaked at slightly more than 100,000 in 2010-2011, is being gradually reduced, with barely 20,000 soldiers expected to remain by July.

However, the risk of a post-2014 mission creep is real. It cannot be forgotten that the limited authority Congress gave Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, to use force against those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. spawned an expansive military intervention that has cost $600 billion and left countless dead.

More fundamentally, Obama has not grasped the main reason as to why America’s war in Afghanistan has foundered — failure to reconcile military and political objectives.

From the time it invaded in 2001, America pursued a military surge in Afghanistan, but an aid surge to the next-door country harboring terrorist havens and the “Quetta Shura,” as the Afghan Taliban leadership there is known. The war was made unwinnable by Washington’s own refusal to target Pakistan for actively abetting elements killing or maiming U.S. troops.

Obama’s basing strategy could presage a shift from a full-fledged war to a low-intensity war but without fixing the incongruous duality in America’s “Afpak” policy. Indeed, a smaller U.S. force in Afghanistan would only increase Washington’s imperative to mollycoddle Pakistani generals and cut a deal with the “Quetta Shura” in order to secure American bases.

Washington plans to gift Pakistan its surplus military hardware in Afghanistan, including several hundred mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles.

It has also agreed to taper off drone strikes in Pakistan. The number of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan actually declined from 122 in 2010 to 26 in 2013, with no attacks since December.

Even more revealing is what the drones have not targeted. To preserve the option of reaching a Faustian bargain with its main battlefield opponent — the Afghan Taliban — the U.S. has not carried out a single air, drone or ground attack against its leadership, which is ensconced in Pakistan’s sprawling Baluchistan province. U.S. drone strikes have been restricted to the Pakistani tribal region to the north, Waziristan, where they have targeted the Pakistani Taliban — the nemesis of the Pakistani military.

A continued U.S. approach based on reward for Pakistan and punishing airstrikes in Afghanistan, even if less frequent, would make the latter’s future more uncertain than ever.

To make matters worse, the U.S. plans to start significantly cutting aid to Kabul next year, which threatens to undermine a key requirement to keep the Afghan Taliban at bay — strengthening Afghanistan’s security forces, which, even at their current size, will cost about $5 billion a year. Without generous foreign aid, this sum is beyond the Afghan government’s reach.

Last May, Obama recalled the warning of James Madison — America’s fourth president — that “no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Yet he now seeks a long-term military engagement in Afghanistan, which is good news for the Pakistani generals but not for U.S., Afghan or regional interests.

Admittedly, there are no good options. But an indefinite role for foreign forces would be the equivalent of administering the same medicine that has seriously worsened the patient’s condition.

In the post-2014 scenario, the U.S.’ geopolitical advantage from keeping bases could dissipate as its residual forces, in response to attacks, get sucked into bloody counterterrorism missions on the wrong side of the disputed Durand Line that divides Afghanistan and Pakistan. History then will come full circle for the U.S.

It is past time for Afghanistan to be in charge of its own security and destiny. International role and assistance should be limited to strengthening the Afghan government’s hand and reining in Pakistan’s use of surrogate militias.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion.../americas-afghanistan-albatross/#.U1w6bJrn-P8
 
US To Keep Nearly 10,000 Troops In Afghanistan

Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year, senior administration officials have said.

The president is expected to announce the post-war plans during a foreign policy speech on Wednesday at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The proposal calls for nearly all of the remaining US forces to be out by the end of 2016, as Mr Obama finishes his second term, officials said.

The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the US.

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, but US officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him will approve the pact.

More follows...

http://news.sky.com/story/1269994/us-to-keep-nearly-10000-troops-in-afghanistan
 
Long war draws to it's end, but One question that no one asked was why when the Taliban asked The bush administration for evidence that Osama did 9/11, did they get their reply with cruise missiles?, why America the upholders of justice and freedom in the world could not provide any evidence for a reasonable request?.
 
Long war draws to it's end, but One question that no one asked was why when the Taliban asked The bush administration for evidence that Osama did 9/11, did they get their reply with cruise missiles?, why America the upholders of justice and freedom in the world could not provide any evidence for a reasonable request?.

Because they never cared about Osama bin Laden, 9/11 or Talibans ; it was all bout the centuries-old "Great Game", whoever controls Afghanistan controls the energy transit and can put pressure on the jugular vein of the region (mainly China) ; all the recent developments in Africa (newly born "Islamist" movements) are taken against China (to legitimize invasion in these lands for "fight against Islamism") and all recent scripts in Syria or Ukraine are taken against Russia, for the elusive control of the (eastern) Mediterranean sea, a fight which goes back to the Roman empire, and if the Islamic civilisation died, it's for instance because they lost the (western) Mediterranean sea initially to the Normans (Sicily, ...), before the Christians completely overtook "al Andalus".

These are old games with new players, but I doubt US of A will keep its soldiers: it's taking its last breath and will suffocate under too much international geopolitical chess-gaming headache.
 

Obama can't wait to get the Seppos out of there. He set it up perfectly too, by leaving it up to the Afghans to decide if his token 10k troops will remain for an extra year.

Obama to cut troops, says Afghanistan 'will not be a perfect place'
By Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 10:11 PM EDT, Tue May 27, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- With combat operations in Afghanistan ending this year, President Barack Obama announced he plans for almost 10,000 American troops to remain in the country in 2015 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement.

"We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden in detailing the strategy to have virtually all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016 -- shortly before his presidency ends.

The announcement offered something to proponents and opponents of a continued U.S. military engagement there after more than 12 years of war -- the longest in American history.

Obama called for 9,800 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, along with some allied forces. The number would get cut roughly in half by the end of 2015, and a year later -- less than a month before Obama leaves the White House -- the U.S. military presence would scale down to what officials described as a "normal" embassy security contingent.

A senior administration official told CNN that after 2016, the number of U.S. service members in Afghanistan providing embassy security and engaging in cooperative security efforts with the host government and military would likely number about 1,000.

Currently, the United States has 32,000 troops there. Maintaining any forces beyond the end of 2014 -- when Washington and its NATO allies will formally halt combat operations -- depends on Afghanistan signing the security agreement rejected by outgoing President Hamid Karzai, Obama said Tuesday.

Two candidates facing each other in next month's run-off election to choose Karzai's successor have indicated they will sign the security pact, Obama said.

"It's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," he declared.

Three conservative Republicans who generally oppose any reduction in the U.S. military's global posture criticized Obama's announcement as "a monumental mistake and a triumph of politics over strategy."

"The President came into office wanting to end the wars he inherited. But wars do not end just because politicians say so," said a statement by d.

For more visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/27/politics/us-afghanistan-troops/

I have a feeling he is praying that the Afghans do not sign the security agreement, so he can blame them if Afghanistan collapses into civil war again.
 
Long war draws to it's end, but One question that no one asked was why when the Taliban asked The bush administration for evidence that Osama did 9/11, did they get their reply with cruise missiles?, why America the upholders of justice and freedom in the world could not provide any evidence for a reasonable request?.

Because they didn't have enough evidence to convince the Taliban that OBL was responsible, so they forced the issue.

Somebody drove three airliners into their office buildings and killed thousands of civilians. That had to be answered immediately. To have delayed while they gathered evidence on OBL would have been political suicide for Bush.
 
Obama can't wait to get the Seppos out of there. He set it up perfectly too, by leaving it up to the Afghans to decide if his token 10k troops will remain for an extra year.

I have a feeling he is praying that the Afghans do not sign the security agreement, so he can blame them if Afghanistan collapses into civil war again.

When.
 
Because they didn't have enough evidence to convince the Taliban that OBL was responsible, so they forced the issue.

Somebody drove three airliners into their office buildings and killed thousands of civilians. That had to be answered immediately. To have delayed while they gathered evidence on OBL would have been political suicide for Bush.

Or...

But if I say American Gov is not who they pretend to be, then I am a conspiracy theorist
 
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Or...

But if I say American Gov is not who they pretend to be, then I am a conspiracy theorist

The value of a conspiracy theory is to test one's ability to think critically about a thesis, rather than cherrypick those anomalous pieces of data which support a decision one has already made.
 
The value of a conspiracy theory is to test one's ability to think critically about a thesis, rather than cherrypick those anomalous pieces of data which support a decision one has already made.

I'd argue with you but I just realized it'd be pointless.
 
Obama has done a U-turn and is now effectively passing on the Afghanistan problem to the next President.

Barack Obama delays withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan

US president outlines plans to keep 5,500 troops in country through the end of his term, having previously promised to end war on his watch



Barack Obama has abandoned his longstanding goal of ending the war in Afghanistan – the longest in US history – and suggested he may need to make further adjustments in troop numbers before his presidency ends.

After months of deliberation within his administration, the US president said he would leave 5,500 US forces in Afghanistan beyond his departure from office in January 2017.

It reverses his previous plan, announced in spring 2014, to cut troop levels to that number in 2015, which US military commanders had prevailed upon Obama to abandon, citing an escalation in Taliban attacks.

‘I do not support the idea of endless war’ Obama says in announcing plan to keep 5,500 troops there through the end of his term in 2017

Many within the Pentagon and Congress had used the example of the Islamic State takeover of much of Iraq after the 2011 US withdrawal to argue against risking a repeat in Afghanistan – an argument that withstood the 3 October US airstrike on a hospital in Kunduz that killed 22 people and wounded 37.

The present force of 9,800 US troops will remain in the country throughout most of next year. Those who remain into 2017 will be dispersed at three major hubs around the country, training the fledgling Afghan security services and hunting Taliban and al-Qaida targets.

“This isn’t the first time those adjustments have been made, this probably won’t be the last,” Obama said.

Acknowledging that he will not end the war that he escalated and then pledged to “responsibly” conclude, Obama said: “I suspect we will continue to evaluate this going forward, as will the next president.”

Obama blamed the strategic volte-face on weaker than expected Afghan security forces, but insisted they were still capable of assuming full responsibility eventually.

“The bottom line is in key areas of the country, the security situation is still very fragile and in some places there is risk of deterioration,” said the president.

“Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be … meanwhile the Taliban has made gains,” he added.

The president claimed that the continued US troop presence was not a replacement for effective Afghan security forces and did not amount to a change in the strategy of training and supporting local forces rather than leading combat operations.

President’s legacy may suffer, Hillary Clinton’s prospects may be damaged and Kabul’s political bosses have lost face too

“Every day Afghan forces are dying to support their country, they are not looking for us to do it for them,” he said.

“The nature of our mission has not changed and the cessation of our combat role has not changed.”

He also called on American voters to have patience with his strategy, which has been criticised for encouraging Taliban resistance by repeatedly promising that Nato forces would withdraw.

“I know that many of you have grown weary of this conflict,” said Obama. “I do not support the idea of endless war … yet, given what’s at stake in Afghanistan and the opportunity for a stable and committed ally that can partner with us in preventing the emergence of future threats … I am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort.”

To US forces, which have suffered 25 fatalities this year, he added: “I do not send you into harm’s way lightly – this is the most solemn decision I make – but as your commander in chief I believe this mission is vital to our national security.”

Beyond his presidency, Afghanistan will be a “key piece of the network of counter-terrorism partnership we need” throughout the Middle East and south Asia, Obama said.

Former US military commanders said the 5,500 troop level was below the “minimum” requirements for an effective US force, and questioned if Obama will actually shrink force levels to that size before leaving office.

Continued Taliban progress will “put President Obama in his final days in office in a dilemma and his successor in a dilemma”, said retired army lieutenant general Dan Bolger, an Afghanistan veteran who once led the training of the Afghan military.

“These numbers aren’t based on how many advisers or air support they need, they’re just numbers. The military will do what they can,” Bolger said.

Aides to Obama indicated that the administration had decided on a troop number before figuring out which forces will train Afghans and which will hunt al-Qaida and related targets.

“Apportionment across the two narrow mission sets that we have … is still left to be decided and something that we’re going to engage with our Nato partners on to determine what’s most appropriate,” said Christine Abizaid, a senior Pentagon policy official.

Last week, Obama’s commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, testified to Congress that he did not support Obama’s plan to reduce troop levels to a force based around the US embassy in Kabul. Campbell said that the Taliban, which briefly overran the northern city of Kunduz, was fighting harder than in previous years, and the Afghan military that the US has sponsored for a decade continues to exhibit key weaknesses in sustainment and air support.

Campbell on Thursday said Obama’s decision “provides us [with] the ability to further develop a lasting strategic relationship with our Afghan partners and allows us to counter the rise of violent extremism in a volatile part of the world”.

The Republican leadership on the armed services committees indicated their backing for the slowdown in the troop withdrawals, while signalling their disbelief that the residual 5,500-troop presence was realistic.

“It is highly unlikely that a force level of 5,500 troops was recommended as the best professional judgment of our senior military leaders and commanders on the ground in Afghanistan,” said John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the Senate armed services committee.

“The bottom line is that 5,500 troops will only be adequate to conduct either the counter-terrorism or the train-and-advise mission, but not both. Our military commanders have said that both are critical to prevent Afghanistan from spiralling into chaos.”

McCain’s counterpart in the House, Mac Thornberry of Texas, commented: “While this new plan avoids a disaster, it is certainly not a plan for success.”

The revision in Obama’s plan was not deterred by one of the highest-profile disasters of the 14-year-old war: the 3 October US airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders’ field hospital in Kunduz. The group, known by its French acronym MSF, has called the attack a war crime and has sought an international inquiry, a step Obama has thus far declined to endorse. MSF launched an online petition to pressure Obama on Thursday.

Other Nato countries with troops in Afghanistan – including Georgia, Germany, Romania, Turkey and the UK – are likely to mirror the US extension. Germany has already said it is willing to extend its presence by one year.

Obama’s statement was well received by the Kabul government, which Obama said had requested the extra troops.

“This was very much expected, and it’s welcome news,” said Daud Sultanzoy, an adviser to the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani. “Mr Obama made a decision based on recommendations from his military commanders, and that is how it should be.”

He said that while the announcement would help stabilise the country for now, the mandate of the international troops in Afghanistan remained the same.

“One thing we need to remember is that while the withdrawal is delayed, the nature of the mission has not changed. It is still train, advise, assist,” he said, referring to the three elements of Nato’s Afghanistan mission since January. “It is up to us to elevate our capabilites, and it is [our allies’] responsibility to get us to that.”

Sultanzoy emphasised that the war in Afghanistan included more actors than just the national government, the armed opposition and the international coalition. Countries such as Pakistan, India, China, Russia and Uzbekistan all had a stake in the conflict, he said.

“This is not just an Afghan war,” he said, “and it would behoove our allies to look at this war and the region and realise that this requires much larger attention.”

Shukria Barakzai, an Afghan MP who has previously been critical of US plans to withdraw troops, welcomed Obama’s announcement. “It is not a choice” for the US to keep troops in Afghanistan, she said, “it is an obligation.”

Barakzai added: “The US has created a lot of problems for Afghans, ever since the cold war, so it has a responsibility to help and support Afghans.”

Barakzai said that previous public announcements about reducing the US military presence had bolstered the Taliban, giving the insurgents time to prepare the offensives carried out this year. Now, she said, the US needed to be clear about what exactly its troops were going to contribute to Afghanistan, with military power alone not sufficient.

“I believe the US should focus more on building the infrastructure of the Afghan economy. One main reason for the war is the poor economy,” she said.

Cautiously welcoming Obama’s decision, Abdul Waheed Wafa, executive director of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University, said that although the proposed 5,500 troops would not be enough to sufficiently train government troops and quell the insurgency, “it will be a big boost to the morale of the Afghan national security forces”.

“It will not deter the Taliban’s ambition to gain more territory,” he said, “but it will be a message to them that the international and especially the American commitment to Afghanistan will remain, and it will slow the pace of the Taliban.”

For several years, the prospects of the US withdrawal had loomed over Afghanistan, while the country struggled with a poor economy, deteriorating security situation and a weak government, Wafa said.

“Currently, Afghanistan is facing a lot of challenges at once,” he said. “Giving the troops one year more is good enough for the moment. And delaying the troops also means that President Obama listens to his generals, who always said we should withdraw based on the situation on the ground.”

The White House suggested that primary responsibility for the persistence of the war continued to lay with predecessor George W Bush.

“The scale of the challenge that the next president faces is much smaller than the scale of the challenge faced by this country when president Obama took office,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/15/obama-delay-withdrawal-us-troops-afghanistan
 
They didn't go into Afghanistan just to leave after few years!!


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^ Afghan official would be happy. Without US support Taliban would run havoc, and the Afghan forces arent capable of dealing with them alone.
 
The bottom line is in key areas of the country, the security situation is still very fragile and in some places there is risk of deterioration,” said the president.

He is right though.

Just a couple of days ago in Southern Afghanistan

In the most recent offensive, "The U.S. conducted 63 precision airstrikes while Afghan forces engaged in several battles on the ground against al Qaeda networks at two related sites," the U.S. military said.

One target was a "well-established training camp" that spanned about 1 square mile; the second site covered almost 30 square miles, the military said.
 
The US has to stay no matter what. As soon as they leave you can be sure the Taliban will have full control over the country, massive chunks already belong to them and I don't think the ANA have the will and expertise to deal with them.
 
Trillion dollar spent, supposedly the best military in the world couldn't defeat several thousand cavemen in a 4th world country lol.
 
The US has to stay no matter what. As soon as they leave you can be sure the Taliban will have full control over the country, massive chunks already belong to them and I don't think the ANA have the will and expertise to deal with them.

Who cares if Taliban rules Afghanistan ? sooner or later people will find a way to get what they want. No point in sending US military who will try to bring in their puppet, create more chaos and only make everything worse.
 
Trillion dollar spent, supposedly the best military in the world couldn't defeat several thousand cavemen in a 4th world country lol.

They aren't every 4th world country.you should look at their history. Doesn't matter who tge the occupier is, they have whooped everyone's *****.the problem here is you aren't fighting with few thousand or few lakh people.you are fighting against a nation of warriors.no matter how good the intentions of western powers, they will always be seen as unwanted and I don't feel they will relent till US leaves.the best solution in view for this problem is to just leave them alone, no interference from any western power, pakistan, china, india etc will do the trick. Let them solve their own mess and I think if left alone this mess would end within months, but every country ooks at its interests which may not necessarily overlap with interest of afghans.
 
Who cares if Taliban rules Afghanistan ? sooner or later people will find a way to get what they want. No point in sending US military who will try to bring in their puppet, create more chaos and only make everything worse.

True that you can't delay the inevitable if not Taliban then someone else similar but tbh Soviet did mess them up real bad and imo there is not denying that.
 
hussain123;8085979[B said:
]They aren't every 4th world country.you should look at their history. Doesn't matter who tge the occupier is, they have whooped everyone's *****[/B].the problem here is you aren't fighting with few thousand or few lakh people.you are fighting against a nation of warriors.no matter how good the intentions of western powers, they will always be seen as unwanted and I don't feel they will relent till US leaves.the best solution in view for this problem is to just leave them alone, no interference from any western power, pakistan, china, india etc will do the trick. Let them solve their own mess and I think if left alone this mess would end within months, but every country ooks at its interests which may not necessarily overlap with interest of afghans.

That is such a poorly repeated myth, that it has almost become gospel.

People should look into history and see why. Afghanistan has been conquered before, and the Afghans have lost several battles. Historically, the only reason that they have been independent is because Afghanistan can't pay for itself. The war becomes unaffordable. Again, the only time Afghanistan has been successfully conquered in more recent history is if you conquer what is now Pakistan. Because with Punjab, you can pay for the war to sustain itself.

Yes the British lost - but because they fought with a mercenary sepoy army, made up of Indians who did not really want to be there, and were more pre-occupied by the fact they had lost their caste by crossing the 'black water'.
 
That is such a poorly repeated myth, that it has almost become gospel.

People should look into history and see why. Afghanistan has been conquered before, and the Afghans have lost several battles. Historically, the only reason that they have been independent is because Afghanistan can't pay for itself. The war becomes unaffordable. Again, the only time Afghanistan has been successfully conquered in more recent history is if you conquer what is now Pakistan. Because with Punjab, you can pay for the war to sustain itself.

Yes the British lost - but because they fought with a mercenary sepoy army, made up of Indians who did not really want to be there, and were more pre-occupied by the fact they had lost their caste by crossing the 'black water'.
If the British lost why there is a durand line?
 
That is such a poorly repeated myth, that it has almost become gospel.

People should look into history and see why. Afghanistan has been conquered before, and the Afghans have lost several battles. Historically, the only reason that they have been independent is because Afghanistan can't pay for itself. The war becomes unaffordable. Again, the only time Afghanistan has been successfully conquered in more recent history is if you conquer what is now Pakistan. Because with Punjab, you can pay for the war to sustain itself.

Yes the British lost - but because they fought with a mercenary sepoy army, made up of Indians who did not really want to be there, and were more pre-occupied by the fact they had lost their caste by crossing the 'black water'.

they may have lost, but it is their relentless determination to stand up and fightback against their oppressors no matter how powerful they maybe and their resilience which sets them apart.they never give up as a nation.
 
Because they didn't have enough evidence to convince the Taliban that OBL was responsible, so they forced the issue.

Somebody drove three airliners into their office buildings and killed thousands of civilians. That had to be answered immediately. To have delayed while they gathered evidence on OBL would have been political suicide for Bush.

Do you think the invasion of Afghanistan was justified then.


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That is such a poorly repeated myth, that it has almost become gospel.

People should look into history and see why. Afghanistan has been conquered before, and the Afghans have lost several battles. Historically, the only reason that they have been independent is because Afghanistan can't pay for itself. The war becomes unaffordable. Again, the only time Afghanistan has been successfully conquered in more recent history is if you conquer what is now Pakistan. Because with Punjab, you can pay for the war to sustain itself.

Yes the British lost - but because they fought with a mercenary sepoy army, made up of Indians who did not really want to be there, and were more pre-occupied by the fact they had lost their caste by crossing the 'black water'.
Afg has been conquered but the people have never been colonised.
 
True that you can't delay the inevitable if not Taliban then someone else similar but tbh Soviet did mess them up real bad and imo there is not denying that.

Soviet did what US did in Vietnam. This is imperialism by the big nations. It is another way of colonizing the world. People think Canada providing aids worth of $300m is free money to Africa, but in truth, they sign deals, force those nations to import certain products from Canada and bring in double, triple the amount they initially had aided. The entire world is pretty disgusting to be honest.
 
Soviet did what US did in Vietnam. This is imperialism by the big nations. It is another way of colonizing the world. People think Canada providing aids worth of $300m is free money to Africa, but in truth, they sign deals, force those nations to import certain products from Canada and bring in double, triple the amount they initially had aided. The entire world is pretty disgusting to be honest.

True that the countries and its national(including me) just hide behind the PR.
 
Who cares if Taliban rules Afghanistan ? sooner or later people will find a way to get what they want. No point in sending US military who will try to bring in their puppet, create more chaos and only make everything worse.

Exactly. Taliban were in control before US invasion and Pakistan was then relatively stable and peaceful with cricket tours a regular occurrence. The longer the US is there, the longer there is going to be blowback for Pakistan. All Pakistan's problems have stemmed from NATO interference. If they could go in and finish the job it would be a different scenario, but they are just keeping the pot boiling for the last decade and creating chaos in their wake.
 
Exactly. Taliban were in control before US invasion and Pakistan was then relatively stable and peaceful with cricket tours a regular occurrence. The longer the US is there, the longer there is going to be blowback for Pakistan. All Pakistan's problems have stemmed from NATO interference. If they could go in and finish the job it would be a different scenario, but they are just keeping the pot boiling for the last decade and creating chaos in their wake.

Gotta feeling that US is there because they want to be there and don't think it is because they can't defeat the Taliban. Can't see why the couldn't defeat Taliban in over a decade when it only took them 2 weeks to capture the entire Iraq with Airforce, Navy and the Army lol.
 
And now under Trump the Americans actually want to increase the number of troops in Afghanistan.

President Trump could be asked next week to send more troops to Afghanistan as the 16-year war grinds on in a bloody stalemate.

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan wants 3,000 more troops and Pentagon officials told Congress this week that the war plan recommendations being sent to Trump are aimed at moving “beyond the stalemate” with the ISIS-affiliated Taliban insurgency.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.fo...ops-as-stalemate-in-afghan-grinds-on.amp.html
 
NATO is asking Canada to once again send troops to Afghanistan to help deal with the resurgence of the Taliban.

The request will be on the agenda at the May 25 NATO summit in Brussels, to be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said a request has been received from alliance commanders in Afghanistan for several thousand more soldiers to help shore up Afghan forces who are struggling to deal with the resurgent Taliban. Estimates suggest the Islamic fundamentalist group, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the U.S.-led NATO invasion of 2001, is now back in control of or a major presence in about 40 per cent of the country.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/c...eing-asked-to-send-troops-back-to-afghanistan


The Australian government is "open" to a NATO request for more troops to be sent to war-torn Afghanistan, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.

The request followed Mr Turnbull's recent trip to the region, where he met with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and General John Nicholson, the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan.

Play Video

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-polit...re-troops-in-afghanistan-20170511-gw37c0.html
 
Foreign occupation never lasts too long. Waste of money.

I can't help but agree. Afghanistan has never been a place you can control unless the population is with you. It just seems like a senseless waste of money in the long term. I know Clinton's cruise missile strikes were widely criticised, but they were probably the only sensible way to hit your enemy at an affordable cost.
 
I can't help but agree. Afghanistan has never been a place you can control unless the population is with you. It just seems like a senseless waste of money in the long term. I know Clinton's cruise missile strikes were widely criticised, but they were probably the only sensible way to hit your enemy at an affordable cost.

The taliban managed to control it until bin laden sold them out
Drugs were rooted out from society , and everyone was secure and stable.

The Americans are going back into Somalia too after black hawk down.
 
And the troops are to stay......

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a> President Trump: US to keep 8,600 troops in Afghanistan after deal with Taliban <a href="https://t.co/3npOFrmmyO">pic.twitter.com/3npOFrmmyO</a></p>— AFP news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1167073497555902464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 29, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
And the troops are to stay......

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a> President Trump: US to keep 8,600 troops in Afghanistan after deal with Taliban <a href="https://t.co/3npOFrmmyO">pic.twitter.com/3npOFrmmyO</a></p>— AFP news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1167073497555902464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 29, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Does these include those contractors etc
 
And the troops are to stay......

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BREAKING</a> President Trump: US to keep 8,600 troops in Afghanistan after deal with Taliban <a href="https://t.co/3npOFrmmyO">pic.twitter.com/3npOFrmmyO</a></p>— AFP news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1167073497555902464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 29, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Expected. As much as Trump wants the US out of Afghanistan and Syria, there is always a John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to convince him to not withdraw from there.
 
WASHINGTON: The next phase in the US effort to restart the Afghan peace process is to convince both friends and adversaries that Washington remains committed to a political settlement in Afghanistan despite recent setbacks, an official document shows.

The statement, issued after US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad completed his renewed efforts to restart peace talks, stresses that Washington continues to “support a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan”, but it also believes that “a reduction in violence is necessary to bring about a lasting peace”.

In September, the United States and Taliban came close to finalising a deal for ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan but a Taliban attack in Kabul that killed dozens of people, including an American soldier, derailed the effort.

Senior Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani were already scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump in Kabul for signing the deal, but Mr Trump cancelled the trip hours before their expected arrival and said that talks with the Taliban would only restart if they first stop the fight.

But he sent Ambassador Khalilzad back on the peace trail two weeks ago, dispatching him first to European capitals and then to the South Asian region for consulting US allies and adversaries on how to restart the talk process. He first went to Brussels for talks with America’s Nato allies who have contributed troops to the US-led military mission in Afghanistan.

In South Asia, the US envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation visited both Kabul and Islamabad to review various options for re-engaging the Taliban while ensuring that the Afghan government also remains involved in the process.

Mr Khalilzad visited Kabul twice -- from Oct 26 to Oct 28 and from Oct 29 to Nov 1 – and met President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and other government officials as well as former officials, members of the civil society, and the religious community to “brief them and to hear their views on the peace process”, as the official statement said.

On Oct 28-29, Mr Khalilzad visited Islamabad where he met Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other government officials.

In Islamabad, Ambassador Khalilzad discussed “the current status of the Afghan peace process and the importance of reducing violence. He also underscored the economic and security benefits peace can bring to the region”, said another official US statement.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1515007/us-remains-committed-to-political-settlement-in-afghanistan.
 
WASHINGTON: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan more than tripled during this quarter compared with the same period last year, says an official US report.

Most of these deaths happened in Taliban attacks but the US-backed Afghan official forces also had a significant share in these casualties, says the report compiled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

The SIGAR report notes that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) blames anti-government elements for this increase in overall civilian casualties from Jan 1 through Sept 30. Anti-government forces, including the Taliban, were responsible for 5,117 civilian casualties during this period, which is 62 per cent of the total. There was a notable increase in casualties attributed to the Taliban as opposed to other groups.

UNAMA attributed 3,823 civilian casualties — 46 per cent of the total — to the Taliban in the first nine months of 2019, an increase of 31 per cent from the same period in 2018.

However, “comparing just this reporting period to the same period in 2018, civilian casualties attributed to the Taliban more than tripled,” the report adds.

The significant increase in civilian casualties this quarter was attributed to suicide and IED attacks by anti-government elements, primarily the Taliban. During the months of July, August, and September, UNAMA documented an alarming 72 per cent increase in civilian casualties caused by IEDs compared to the same period in 2018.

SIGAR, an official watchdog that monitors the Afghan war for the US Congress, notes that the Resolute Support (RS) mission also reported a significant increase in civilian casualties this summer compared to last summer. The Resolute Support (RS) mission is the official name of the Nato command in Afghanistan.

UNAMA reported a total 4,313 of civilian casualties from July through September, representing a 42 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2018.

The Nato command reported a 39 per cent increase in civilian casualties from June–September 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.

Both UNAMA and RS said the increase in civilian casualties was due to a high number of terrorist and insurgent attacks prior to the presidential elections that included the use of improvised explosive devices. Operations by all the parties to the conflict this quarter also led to high combat casualties, they added.

According to RS, from June 1 through August 31, 2019, Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) total casualties increased by approximately 5 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, seven American service members were killed in action in Afghanistan from July 16 to October 16, bringing the 2019 total to 17 killed and 124 wounded in action, the highest annual number of US combat casualties in Afghanistan over the last five years.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1514717/civilian-deaths-in-afghanistan-triple-this-summer-us-report.
 
”Most of these deaths happened in Taliban attacks but the US-backed Afghan official forces also had a significant share in these casualties, says the report compiled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).”

Wasn’t there a report that claimed that the majority of civilian deaths were caused by the Afghan military?
 
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