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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid