News / USA

Obama Announces Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan

Obama Announces Afghanistan Withdrawal Plani
X
Luis Ramirez
May 27, 2014 11:25 PM
President Barack Obama says 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after this year. Those forces will be gone in 2016 under a plan announced by the U.S. president Tuesday. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama says 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after this year, but all could be withdrawn if Afghan leaders do not sign a joint security agreement.

The president laid out his plans Tuesday for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan and bringing America's longest war to what he called a "responsible end." He told reporters in the White House Rose Garden that this is the year the United States will conclude its combat mission in Afghanistan and hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces.

“At the beginning of 2015, we will have approximately 9,800 U.S. service members in different parts of the country, together with our NATO allies and other partners. By the end of 2015, we will have reduced that presence by roughly half.”
 
President Barack Obama speaks about Afghanistan at the White House Rose Garden on May 27, 2014.President Barack Obama speaks about Afghanistan at the White House Rose Garden on May 27, 2014.
x
President Barack Obama speaks about Afghanistan at the White House Rose Garden on May 27, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks about Afghanistan at the White House Rose Garden on May 27, 2014.
Obama said U.S. troops at that point will work only in Kabul and at Bagram air base, near the Afghan capital. By the end of 2016, he said, U.S. forces will be withdrawn with only a normal embassy presence remaining - similar to that left in Iraq, where Obama withdrew troops in 2011.

There are about 32,000 troops left in Afghanistan. Those who remain will continue training Afghan forces and support counter-terrorism operations.

The U.S. sent forces into Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the governing Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaida -- the group responsible for the September 11 attacks in the United States.

“I think Americans have learned that it's harder to end wars than it is to begin them. Yet this is how wars end in the 21st century. Not through signing ceremonies, but through decisive blows against our adversaries, transitions to elected governments, security forces who are trained to take the lead and ultimately full responsibility,” said Obama.

The drawdown plan has drawn criticism from some members of Congress. The head of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, said Obama is putting poll numbers over security, called the timeline arbitrary and suggested the plan leaves Afghanistan vulnerable to the kind of chaos that has plagued Iraq since U.S. troops departed.

The president still may order a full withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan this year, if the new Afghan leadership does not sign the bilateral security agreement.

Senior administration officials say the fact that both run-off candidates in Afghanistan's presidential elections have pledged to sign the agreement gave Obama confidence to announce the withdrawal plan on Tuesday.  

The announcement came a day before the U.S. leader delivers a speech in which he will outline the direction of U.S. foreign policy after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rom jeremy from: chicago
May 28, 2014 3:44 AM
The presidential should pull out all the troops and also citizens.because the american have no rights at all in afghanistan.

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
May 28, 2014 2:57 AM
. . ."security forces who are trained to take the lead and ultimately full responsibility," says Obama. What the heck does that mean -- an American-trained Afghan military machine will be the rulers rather than allowing a Islamic-style democratically elected government that understands the region's culture and traditions which are significantly different than those found in Western nations?
Obama and the American political system and its military are tyrants afraid of democracy -- and don't think Afghans have the same ability to freely rule themselves as did the mostly illiterate American peasants of the 1770s who helped set up a White and Christian and slavery-loving nation where only property owners were allowed to vote after they defeated the British Empire in battle.
It seems Obama and the US Congress believe Muslims are stupid people and unable to govern themselves unless it is a US-sponsored military dictatorship and/or Persian Gulf-like monarchy.

by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
May 28, 2014 2:27 AM
Even I can say that presence of NATO troops was and are very important and effective for security control in some part of Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is a 160,000 square Km wide country, approximately 60,000 square Km area is covered by the Cities like: Herat, Jalal Abad, Qandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif…, and all the remaining part of Afghanistan is under the control of Taliban, Al-Qaida or other Afghan Government Opposite Armed groups, from another hand Since America and NATO came to Afghanistan the name of Afghan has been broadcasted like: Terrorist, Killer, Wild, uneducated, radical and intransigent.
It isn’t any other reason only due to the bad propaganda of the politicians who are playing a game of Economic, Development and power.
As All the time Afghanistan was the bridge between powerful Empires to connect them to the water and improve their Influence at the other part of the land which is separated by Afghanistan and its neighbor country which don’t have the border with sea, So let me say as funny: now we had use to it we actually aren’t worry regarding the withdrawal of ISAF or American troops from our country but History is looking after every one and it will also register and write at the world History and there will be someone to judge that what American and Mr. Obama did in Iraq and Afghanistan,
Hamidi

by: Anthony Bellchambers from: London
May 28, 2014 12:39 AM
As Barack Obama revisits American foreign policy, his presidency has ensured there will never be another such incumbent within our lifetime

On January 20th, 2009, the world rejoiced at the election of an American President from an ethnic minority; a lawyer who by the power of his oratory combined with an inspiring vision for the future and the successful utilization of modern technology, won a resounding victory in his election to the White House. Millions around the world, black, brown and white, cried in jubilation at the promise of a new world order directed by an American President who would be cognisant, proactive and sympathetic to the plight of those forced to live under the threat of violence of terrorism and oppressive regimes in addition to those who lack food, water and medical attention.

Now five years on, we now live instead in a world under increasing threat of global war as weapons of mass destruction, both nuclear and chemical, have proliferated under the watch of this US administration, particularly in the Middle East. The balance of power has shifted from Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond, in an incredible abdication of statesmanship and political and military responsibility.

Contemporaneously, Washington has ensured that the United Nations has been turned into a creature organisation of the US Congress, one that is routinely prevented from carrying out its vital role as the global representative body by the consistently irresponsible use of the US veto in the Security Council.

The international community never imagined that there could have been a more inept US Presidency than that of George W Bush. We were all wrong.

by: Mod from: China
May 27, 2014 10:55 PM
U retreat and leave a mass. Have Americans bring real peace and democracy to Afghanistan ? Think about what U have done to the world.

by: ali baba from: new york
May 27, 2014 3:10 PM
the money we spend on 9800 on barbaric Afghanistan is waste and can be used to overhaul social security system. it seems that we never learn from our mistake that these people do not deserve any sacrifice

by: meanbill from: USA
May 27, 2014 12:40 PM
TRUTH BE TOLD? --- The Obama plan to leave 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal (retreat), is the exact same plan that Obama sought from Karzai, and Karzai refused to sign? --- (It's for US troops to hide behind (30) foot high blast-proof walls, "and to kill enemies of America" and not to kill enemies of Afghanistan, with killer drone bombs)..The US wants immunity for American troops killing innocent Afghan civilians with their killer drone bombs, (and Karzai flat out rejected it), and wants Americans who kill innocent Afghan civilians prosecuted in Afghanistan, by Afghans.. -- Obama's Afghan withdrawal plan of leaving 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan to kill the US enemies with the US killer drone bombs, is contingent on the immunity for US troops killing innocent afghan civilians...... REALLY
In Response

by: Chan o from: USA
May 27, 2014 9:26 PM
What's the difference between "withdraw in honor" from Vietnam War and "Responsible end"??? Like Vietnam, with Americans, Koreans, Australians, and others but could not win the War, they withdrew in honor and expected the South VN to fight the war by herself with aid cut off. The South last 3 years. With NATO and others withdrawing. Afghanistan could not survive.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 27, 2014 3:20 PM
American killed in Afghanistan by road side bombs. it seems that you do not understand or experiencing false imagination. Afghanistan is land of corruption and immorality . afghan people are not thankful for the help we give it to them . They do not deserve any help and they are cowered and have the habit of stabbing from the back

by: TH from: Reno, Nv
May 27, 2014 12:24 PM
Why does our White House staff feel that they must continue to educate our enemies on our military staffing levels all over the world. The American people would be more than happy with hearing we are JUST reducing our levels!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More