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Thread: US considers leaving no troops in Afghanistan

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    #1

    US considers leaving no troops in Afghanistan

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    US considers leaving no troops in Afghanistan - Americas - Al Jazeera English

    A senior White House official has said the US would consider leaving no American troops in Afghanistan after the end of combat in December 2014.

    The official, however, stressed that the administration remains committed to preventing the country from becoming a haven for al-Qaeda.

    The comments on Tuesday came as Afghan President Hamid Karzai headed to Washington for talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama.

    Asked whether Obama would consider a scenario in which all US troops left and there was no residual force in Afghanistan, Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser said: "That would be an option we would consider."

    "We wouldn't rule out any option. We are not guided by the goal of a certain number of troops in the country. We are guided by the objective that the president has set," Rhodes told reporters.

    Obama's goals are to ensure that Afghanistan's new national army has the capacity and equipment to defend itself and to ensure that al-Qaeda cannot make a post-war comeback.

    Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, said that that senior administration officials told reporters in a conference call that if the two main missions of strengthening Afghan security forces, and conduct counterterrorism operations were complete, there would not be a need for troops.

    US and international forces anticipate ending combat missions in Afghanistan this year, before moving to a training role with local forces until the end of 2014.

    Officials have said the White House appears to favour keeping fewer than 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan, but until now the administration has not said publicly it is considering a so-called zero option.

    Pressure growing

    Pressure is growing on Obama to end the war rapidly due to deep war weariness in the US, tightening military budgets and anger over "insider attacks" by Afghan troops on the NATO-led soldiers.

    "If Mr Obama cannot find a way to go to zero troops, he should approve only the minimum number needed," The New York Times said in an editorial this week that called Karzai's government "profoundly corrupt".

    Obama will host talks with Karzai at the White House on Friday, the day after the Afghan president meets Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    US officials have said a decision could be made during Karzai's visit on how many troops stay on in Afghanistan after 2014.

    The talks will also include equipping and strengthening Afghan forces, efforts to negotiate peace with Taliban-led insurgents and a long-term security agreement with the US, Karzai's office said.

    The number of foreign soldiers fighting in Afghanistan has already fallen to 100,000 from about 150,000. Of those, 66,000 are US troops, down from a maximum of about 100,000.

    Karzai has expressed support for keeping some US troops in Afghanistan after 2014 but sensitive details - including immunity for American soldiers and the transfer of detainees into Afghan custody - are still under negotiation.

    Washington scrapped plans for some troops to remain in Iraq after Baghdad refused to grant US soldiers immunity from prosecution.
    As much as the idea of invading a nation, overthrowing its government, and leaving it to a corrupt puppet regime is terrible ... it might not be the worst cast scenario. Maybe this is the best outcome we could really have? I have always questioned if it's even possible to nation build in Afghanistan in the sense of setting up a Western style government. Or at least, if it is possible given the resources and willingness that we have to work with.

    On another note, scheduling the end of combat just seems an odd scenario to me. Usually when one side decides they're not going to fight anymore, it's not because they've won. Curious how this is going to be spun in terms of propaganda.
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    #2
    Can we get out before Dec. 2014 so DH doesn't have to go?

    I don't know, I don't think we should have tried to set up a western government in the first place, they don't want it. I think we need to get out.


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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pftube View Post
    Can we get out before Dec. 2014 so DH doesn't have to go?

    I don't know, I don't think we should have tried to set up a western government in the first place, they don't want it. I think we need to get out.

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    #4
    We shouldn't be in the middle east period. So many lives have been lost for no reason so many families ruined because of PTSD. It's sad to me that all of this was done in vain, but I think it's best just to leave. Let them kill each other, let them be corrupt. Have at it.




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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Whitla View Post
    We shouldn't be in the middle east period. So many lives have been lost for no reason so many families ruined because of PTSD. It's sad to me that all of this was done in vain, but I think it's best just to leave. Let them kill each other, let them be corrupt. Have at it.
    As much as I hate agreeing with this because it is such a sad statement...I do agree. What have we really accomplished? It seems like an endless cycle of making changes, then back to square one, over and over. It is so sad.
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    What ya'll said! Yup.

    It all just seems like it just goes on and on and on.
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    #7
    Yeah, I have to agree with everyone before me. It doesn't seem like we've accomplished much of anything there. I would be delighted to see no troops in Afghanistan, or even have the cut-off date bumped up. I think training their own forces is probably the most productive thing we've done, and even then I'm not sure. I just don't think the USA should be the police of the world, which certainly feels like what we have been while in Afghanistan. I'm hard pressed to even remember what a reason was for invading that country in the first place.
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    #8
    I pretty much agree with everything else said.
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    #9
    This situation is just so complicated. I hate the idea of leaving people there to what will surely be a Taliban resurgence, but the insider attacks have been chipping away at morale pretty well. Maybe refocusing on efforts like school building can help, but I think we're in a rock-and-hard place situation with trying to prop up the government and police.

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