- President Obama will keep 3,000 more troops than originally promised in Afghanistan.
- A letter was sent to Obama from a handful of commanders and ambassadors, urging him to continue to keep the current troops fighting overseas.
- Obama claimed that the majority of the focus in Afghanistan is the training of Afghan troops.
Yesterday, President Obama came forward with an announcement that has some people liking him even less than they did before. Roughly 3,000 more troops, than originally stated, will stay in Afghanistan.
The war in Afghanistan has now been ongoing for over a decade. “The Taliban remains a threat,” Obama said while having a meeting with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Joesph Dunford, in the Roosevelt Room.
Obama will be leaving around 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term in January. He had planned to leave around 5,500 troops, dropping the current number of the 9,800 troops by more than 4,000. It is said, however, that Taliban resurgence has forced his exit strategy to change drastically.
“The decision I’m making today ensures that my successor has a solid foundation for progress in Afghanistan, as well as the flexibility to address the threat of terrorism as it evolves,” Obama said. “l firmly believe the decision I’m announcing is the right thing to do.”
Obama claimed that the remaining focus of U.S. troops would be on the “training and advising” Afghan troops and supporting counterterrorism operations against the little remnants of Al Qaida that remains.
“We are no longer engaged in a major ground war in Afghanistan,” he said. Although, he went on to say that troops that are serving in missions in Afghanistan are still facing real dangers.
In a letter, Gen. John F. Campbell, Gen. David Petraeus, and a handful of other commanders and U.S. ambassadors, wrote to President Obama urging him to keep the current level of troops in Afghanistan throughout the rest of his term.
The letter said, “Unless emergency conditions require consideration of a modest increase, we would strongly favor a freeze at the level of roughly 10,000 U.S. troops through January 30. This approach would allow your successor to assess for herself or himself and make further adjustments accordingly.”