News / USA

US Considering 'Zero Option' for Afghanistan in 2014

US Says No Decision Yet on Afghanistan Troopsi
X
July 09, 2013 11:02 PM
The Pentagon says the United States has made no decision yet on how many troops to leave in Afghanistan after the scheduled 2014 deadline, but officials say they are considering the option of leaving no residual force at all. The Pentagon comment follows a New York Times report that President Obama is seriously considering a "zero option" after 2014. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Watch a related report by VOA's Luis Ramirez
Kent Klein
White House officials say the United States is considering removing all its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but that they have many other options.  Officials say the decision will not be made soon.
 
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Tuesday played down reports that President Barack Obama may pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan when American combat troops leave at the end of next year.

He said the so-called “zero option” is one of many possible plans for postwar Afghanistan, and that the president is under no pressure to decide soon.

“I want to make clear, today’s story notwithstanding, that this is not a decision that is imminent.  And we are talking about a residual force, a potential residual force, in a year and a half.  So these are ongoing conversations," said Carney.

Carney also played down a New York Times report that President Obama is giving new consideration to the “zero option” because he was frustrated after a contentious telephone conversation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in late June.

“Now, we have had disagreements in the past, and we will have them in the future, there is no question.  But the core agreement here is on a future in Afghanistan that is stable and democratic and secure," he said.

Carney said Obama had not spoken with the Afghan president since the teleconference, but that they were likely to speak again soon.

The Obama administration has discussed the possibility of the “zero option” for several months.  At a joint White House news conference with Karzai in January, the president responded to a question about a total U.S. troop pullout by saying Washington’s main objective in Afghanistan had been met.

“We achieved our central goal, which is - or have come very close to achieving our central goal, which is to de-capacitate al-Qaida, to dismantle them, to make sure that they cannot attack us again," said President Obama.

Also in January, the president’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters the administration would consider the zero option if all U.S. goals in Afghanistan are met.

“The objective of the bilateral security agreement negotiations is not to accomplish a number of U.S. troops in a country.  It is to accomplish the two goals of denying a safe haven to al-Qaida and training and equipping Afghan national security forces," said Rhodes.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday the United States will have clear objectives for its continued involvement in Afghanistan, and that those could be met with a residual force or by other means.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sam
July 09, 2013 11:16 AM
Good thinking - America and other Allies have given enough and many troops have made the supreme sacrifice. It is hoped that President Karzai and his Government understand what help they have received. Without it, they would not be where they are today.

In Response

by: Steve from: Australia
July 15, 2013 8:23 PM
The USA never 'helps' other countries , They merely use those countries to pursue the 'interests' of the USA . They care little for the lives of non Americans or the suffering they inflict . And in this they are backed by an truly ignorant and basely complacent US populus .

by: Stephen Real from: Columbia USA
July 09, 2013 10:19 AM
This is such a done deal. We are ought of there. No doubt about it.

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
July 09, 2013 8:05 AM
The zero option is the only realistic and valid option. Afghanistan needs to stand on its own, and its people need to secure their own homeland. The money and US lives saved, will go a long way in improving the relationship between the Afghan and US gvmts. A new development and security training agreement needs to be worked out, to include multiple Asian nations; and an international human rights, security, and defence centre may need to be established, to be located in one of the partner countries (India or Viet-Nam or Indonesia, or Philipines, etc..) , to help train personnel from the various partner nations. Development, Human Rights, Security, Terrorism,Drug Trade, etc are issues that need to be addressed across borders and in many nations; essentially a much broader approach may be beneficial to all, potentially modeled on the African Union, with US/NATO partners sharing/providing expertise.

by: Safdar Khan from: Frankfurt
July 09, 2013 6:37 AM
The politics of Central Asien states are the politics of restained and patient.The American Army,N.A.T.O and the afghan people have given tremendous sacrifices against blind terrorism to make the world safe for future generation.President Karsai have strong apprehension and suspicious against the neigh bouring players. The American presence in Afghanistan will secure the new fregeil democracy in Afghanistan and the stability of the whole region.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More