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President Barack Obama says 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after this year, but all could be withdrawn if Afghan leaders do not sign a joint security agreement.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 By the end of 2016, he said, U.S. forces will be withdrawn with only a normal embassy presence remaining - similar to that left in Iraq, where Obama withdrew troops in 2011.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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs