News / Asia

US Troops to Hand Over Lead Fighting Role to Afghans

US Troops to Hand Over Lead Fighting Role to Afghansi
X
January 12, 2013 1:06 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai said Friday American troops will hand the lead role in fighting the Taliban to Afghan forces in the next few months. The remarks followed a meeting of the two leaders at the White House. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details.
US Troops to Hand Over Lead Fighting Role to Afghans
Meredith Buel
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai said Friday American troops will hand the lead role in fighting the Taliban to Afghan forces in the next few months. The remarks followed a meeting of the two leaders at the White House.

Obama said American troops in Afghanistan will move to a supporting role several months earlier than expected.

“Our troops will have a different mission, training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be an historic moment,” said Obama.

Karzai said after the handover, Afghan forces will be fully responsible for security.

“International forces, the American forces, will be no longer present in Afghan villages, that the task will be that of the Afghan forces to provide for the Afghan people security and protection,” said Karzai.

The comments came several days after a senior Obama administration official suggested the U.S. may pull out all of its  troops by the end of 2014.

Some analysts argue such a move would jeopardize the gains made during more than a decade of war.

“To keep a zero option will undermine what has been accomplished in Afghanistan," said former Afghan ambassador to the U.S. Said Jawad.

Analysts say even in two years, Afghan security forces will not be ready to battle the Taliban without U.S. helicopters, medical facilities, intelligence and other critical support.

“This is going to be absolutely critical. Having air support is a morale builder, particularly for ground troops knowing that they can get out of a tight situation because they can call in air support,” said Marvin Weinbaum of the Middle East Institute.

Earlier, Karzai was welcomed at the Pentagon in an elaborate ceremony. He thanked Americans and NATO allies for their sacrifices.

The U.S. hopes the Taliban will reconcile with the Afghan government, although virtually no progress has been made.

“It is going to be hard enough to ultimately, if they ever get to that point, agree really to compromise on the substance of things. But right now even the framework for an agreement is just not in sight,” said Weinbaum.

Keeping forces after 2014 will require an agreement on the role of U.S. troops including legal immunity for them.

Senior military officials have called for a strong force, expressing concern that a rapid disengagement could cause Afghanistan’s security forces to crumble.

While progress has been made to prevent insurgents from regaining territory, violence persists.

“Unfortunately we already see actually in some parts of Afghanistan continued presence of Taliban and relatively sustained activities of al-Qaida in eastern Afghanistan already,” said Jawad.

As Karzai wrapped up his visit, it appeared the sun already is setting on America’s long and costly war in Afghanistan.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Domitian from: Canada
January 12, 2013 6:26 PM
What we don't hear are the preconditions for a sucessful withdrawal. As in previous wars, neither the unilateral declaration of peace or a negotiated ceasefire are going to be effective in Afghanistan. Afghanistan isn't going to normal - even pre 9/11 normal - for some time to come. And that is even if America leaves it alone.

The warfighters' scenario - a special forces presence to fight terror while Kabul grows government - is just another variety of the weeping ulcer that has converted American grandkds' birthright into a war debt.

There is no good outcome to Afghanistan.

by: woody james from: durham nc
January 12, 2013 12:06 PM
The senior military advisers comments in the article are worthless.
There have been no gains in 10 years of our involvement in this, the most corrupt country on the planet. The 10 years of nothing was not worth even 1 life of a young American. To show Karzai, the king of corruption, getting a royal reception by American military is nauseating. To contemplate anymore assistance of any kind is the insane thinking that has us there in the first place.

All of the equipment and personnel that are American should be removed immediately on a 24/7 schedule and the military generals that have been in charge of this huge failure fired with no benefits. I voted for Obama to see this debacle ended. I would like to hear Obama tell us why he is moving like a snail on ending any participation at all. We are leaving this God forsaken place in defeat by a bunch of rag tag bandits. The stupidity of the top brass and the buying of congress by the military lobbyists sucks.

by: mike from: sd,usa
January 12, 2013 5:20 AM
this is right the USA shouldn't be fighting their battles anyway we have Russians to watch now.

by: buck mast from: tennessee
January 12, 2013 4:47 AM
The USA has given American lives and has poured $Billions down that corrupt rat-hole of a country.What has Afghanistan given us-nothing We should have pulled out of that corrupt country years ago and watched the Taliban BBQ Karzai and the rest of the country descend into an Islamic hell

by: Chuckeroo from: USA
January 12, 2013 12:44 AM
I give them 6 months and they will be back to what they were. We should of pulled out when the people we were training started killing our troops. They thrive on turmoil. They don't want our help, they pretend to want our help and turn around and burn our flag and kill our soldiers. It is sad we had to loose so many for this. Bring them home ASAP

by: pete from: here
January 11, 2013 11:03 PM
We're stupid to have even been there in the first place. Now the icing on the cake.

by: Campbell, Curtis from: HellA
January 11, 2013 10:53 PM
Its now or never. In reality in only takes a few weeks if that to train an army to a level that exceeds the expectations...They have to want it to do it...If the Afghans are ready now that will never be...Get the U.S. out...The deep rooted strategy by this country is to drain America's treasure...

by: robert e morrison from: Northbrook, Il 60062
January 11, 2013 10:49 PM
The next few months are not soon enough! If I had a say in this our troops would be out tomorrow morning. I do not want another precious American life to be taken over there.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
January 11, 2013 10:20 PM
It is good to see that the NATO forces are in the process of drawing down/out. Pres Obama has made a difficult, but good decision on ending this costly, in human lives, mission. Let us hope the Afghan National forces come up to speed once on their own. After at least 8 yrs of training/working with allied forces, they should be able to get the job done. The moral concerning issue, is that if the Taliban fully re-emerge, and take full control of Afghanistan, the non-Pashtun people (mainly Shia) of the North, outside of the usual Pashtun homeland, probably will suffer retribution from the Taliban. At greater risk are those tribes that were part of the Northern Alliance. I hope that strong regional tribal units/forces are in fact part and parcel of the security arrangements, inside of the Afghan army, and that those units are in fact home defence units, stationed in their tribal areas. Civil wars are never easy to resolve, other than by the direct will of the national communities/forces involved in the conflict. Remaining NATO support forces, given the reduced force levels, will probably be at much greater risk; the sooner they are out the better.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs