Skip to comments.General: Military favored ‘more ambiguous’ timetable for leaving Afghanistan
Posted on 07/17/2014 4:17:03 PM PDT by markomalley
Military leaders would have preferred that President Obama not give a firm timetable for withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, the top U.S. commander in the country said in Thursday.
I think all of us in uniform, to include the Afghans, would have preferred that that be a bit more ambiguous, said Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, who is now commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
The president in May announced he intends to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by 2017. The drawdown date has drawn criticism from Republican critics and from former administration and military officials, who say it is based on political timelines and allows Taliban insurgents to bide their time.
Dunford, who was questioned about the strategy during his Senate confirmation hearing to become the next Marine Corps commandant, said he agreed with the presidents overall plan to drawdown U.S. troops from 30,000 to 9,800 by the end of the year, and roughly half that by the end of 2015. The troop presence would fall to about 1,000 by the end of 2016.
Several senators expressed fears that U.S. military gains in Afghanistan could be lost if U.S. troops are removed from the country too quickly.
I remain very troubled by the president's plan to draw down our forces based on arbitrary timelines instead of the advice of our commanders, and the facts on the ground," said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate Armed Service Committees ranking member.
The president tried the same policy in Iraq in 2011. We can't afford to repeat that same mistake in Afghanistan, he said.
The 9,800 U.S. forces in 2015 would stay through that years fighting season, along with 4,000 NATO troops, Dunford said. In 2016, the U.S. would collapse back to a Kabul-centric approach.
And so the bases that are outside of Kabul would be closed, or transferred to the Afghan forces, or the Afghan government by 2016, he said.
Dunford said there were still individuals in both Afghanistan and Pakistan who are determined to replicate acts like 9/11 and that collapsing back to Kabul would be a significant reduction in our overall counterterrorism capability.
The only way that we will be successful for us to be in Kabul [would] be if Afghanistan and Pakistan are capable of dealing with the threat in 2016, he said.
Of the 9,800 U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan in 2015, approximately 2,000 will be special operations forces, Dunford said.
Half of those special operations forces would work with Afghan special operations forces on counterterrorism operations, and half would be dedicated solely to the counterterrorism mission, he said.
Well freaking DUHHHH!
These liberal idiots were beating on Bush to declare an exact day to pull out and any fool knows how stupid that would be.
So the enemy just goes on vacation until the day after said day and resume hostilities from that point without resistance. Unbelievable how stupid democrats are to have no capacity of understanding such a childishly simplistic concept.
Precisely. The Taliban aren't stupid. Why waste ammo and men against an enemy who's leaving anyway?
‘So the enemy just goes on vacation until the day after said day and resume hostilities from that point without resistance. Unbelievable how stupid democrats are to have no capacity of understanding such a childishly simplistic concept.’
Only stupid if you believe that the democrats don’t want the country to fall into the hands of the crazier Muzzies. I see no reason to believe that they wish the just crazy Muzzies be able to hold it. This is what happens when a traitor and his party run our country.
Obama eliminated all the Generals that had a different opinion from his about pulling out of Iraq.