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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid