News / Asia

US Troop Reduction to Test Afghans

US Troop Reduction to Test Afghansi
X
February 16, 2013 12:51 AM
President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw 34,000 of the 66,000 troops now in Afghanistan over the next 12 months comes as Afghan insurgents prepare for the 2013 fighting season. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports the accelerated withdrawal has multiple implications for operations this year.

US Troop Reduction to Test Afghans

Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw 34,000 of the 66,000 troops now in Afghanistan over the next 12 months comes as Afghan insurgents prepare for the 2013 fighting season. The accelerated withdrawal has multiple implications for operations this year.

In his State of the Union address this week, the president put the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan into high gear ahead of next year’s withdrawal deadline.   

“This spring our forces will move into a support role while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight I can announce that, over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan,” said Obama.

This year’s fighting season begins shortly, and it will be the first time that Afghan national security forces - trained and assisted by the United States and its allies - will be at the forefront.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who was in Afghanistan this week, said U.S. forces will be there as a backup.

“What you’ll see this summer is that the Afghan national security forces will be tested. We’ll be there with them, and that’s as much a physical support as it is a psychological support,” said Dempsey.

The troop reduction will be gradual, allowing a sufficient number of U.S. soldiers to be on hand to provide that support.
 
Officials say that satisfies concerns expressed by General John Allen, who has just handed over the command of allied forces in Afghanistan to General Joseph Dunford.
Allen told reporters in Kabul this week his successor faces big challenges in completing the drawdown.

“He has to shrink the basing platform as he retrogrades war materiel that has accumulated for over 10 years, as he sends home a couple hundred thousand folks, leaving the coherence of the campaign intact, which is moving the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces], keeping them in the lead, supporting them as they take the fight to the enemy, doing all of that in same space and time with less than 23 months remaining. It is a daunting task,” said Allen.

Most of the coalition forces are to be out of Afghanistan by the end of next year. Analysts say what happens in the country beyond that is a big question.
 
Ahmad Majidyar, of the American Enterprise Institute, said setting deadlines like the 2014 pullout date could be helping the insurgents.

“The Taliban have a mantra that 'the coalition forces, they have the clock, but we have the time.' So their strategy right now is to just wait out the foreign troops, and, once the foreign troops are gone, then they will just try to come back with vengeance and more power to regain some of the territories they’ve lost,” said Majidyar.

The U.S. has yet to announce how many troops it may leave beyond 2014 to advise and assist the Afghans as they continue the fight against insurgents. That will be decided in a bilateral security agreement being negotiated now by the U.S. and the Afghan.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid