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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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 Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid