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Obama Expected To Announce Paltry Withdrawal

Posted by on June 22nd, 2011

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By Steve Hynd

"Our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. It pays for our military; it underwrites our diplomacy; it taps the potential of our people and allows investment in new industry; and it will allow us to compete in this century as successfully as we did in the last.

That's why our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open- ended: because the nation that I'm most interested in building is our own."

President Obama announcing the Afghanistan "Surge", Dec. 1st, 2009.

Back in December 2009, Obama only promised that "After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home". The signs are that "begin" will be the operative word, with most news sources reporting that tonight he will announce a phased withdrawal which will see an initial withdrawal of only 5,000 troops and a paltry total of only 10,000 troops withdrawn by the end of the year. We'd have to wait until the end of 2012 to see all the "surge" forces back home and the end of 2014 to see all combat forces return. And if the military makes enough of a stink, that 2014 withdrawal date will facde into obscurity too, say reports. One of Bush's favorite officers, now the general in charge of training Afghan security forces, has already called for the US to stay in Afghanistan until 2017.

What all this means is that, at the end of the "surge", we'll have seen a massive escalation over the Obama presidency, with more U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term than at the beginning.


Despite Obama's words in December, the cost of the wars in iraq and Afghanistan has soared to over $1.3 trillion in total and the US spent $118.6 billion in Afghanistan in the last year alone.

“Do we really need to be spending $120 billion in a country with a G.D.P. that’s one-sixth that size?” asked Brian Katulis, a national security expert at the Center for American Progress, a policy group with close ties to the Obama administration. “Most Americans would be shocked to know that we’re spending that kind of money for jobs programs for former Taliban, and would wonder where are our jobs programs for Detroit and Cleveland?”

At this point prospective Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman seems to have the sense of America:

"I'm not a fortune teller here, but I can tell you that at some point, the hundred thousand troops on the ground will have to be taken out substantially. It's heavy, it's expensive, it's disproportionate in terms of where our spending ought to be."

A majority of Americans agree with him. Bring them home sooner.

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