Panetta: US combat in Afghanistan to end next year

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Feb 1, 2012.


    Panetta: US combat in Afghanistan to end next year

    BRUSSELS—Defense Secretary Leon Panetta laid out the administration's most explicit portrayal of the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan, saying Wednesday that U.S. and other international forces in Afghanistan expect to end their combat role in 2013 and continue a training and advisory role with Afghan forces through 2014.

    Panetta's remarks to reporters traveling with him to a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels showed how the foreign military role in Afghanistan is expected to evolve from the current high-intensity fight against the Taliban to a support role with Afghans fully in the lead. The timeline fits neatly into the U.S. political calendar, enabling President Barack Obama to declare on the campaign trail this year that in addition to bringing all U.S. troops home from Iraq and beginning a troop drawdown in Afghanistan, he also has a target period for ending the U.S. combat role there.

    It also serves to possibly bridge an apparent gap between France and the rest of the NATO partners of the U.S. on defining the end game in Afghanistan.

    All NATO members in November 2010 endorsed a plan to keep forces in Afghanistan until the end of 2014. But France this week appeared to throw that plan into doubt when President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed, with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at his side and seemingly in agreement, that NATO end its mission in 2013 -- one year earlier than planned.

    Sarkozy also said, however, that France would provide support for the training of Afghan forces beyond 2013, so his approach might not be entirely different from the one Panetta outlined in which allied troops shed their combat role in the second half of 2013 but remain through 2014 to train, advise and assist.

    Panetta said he hoped to hear more from the French delegation at the NATO talks Thursday and Friday.

    Panetta called 2013 a critical year for the Afghanistan mission that has dragged on for more than a decade with little sign that the Taliban will be decisively defeated. He noted that NATO and the Afghan government intend to begin a final phase of handing off sections of the country to Afghan security control in mid-2013.

    "Hopefully by the mid to latter part of 2013 we'll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advise and assist role," he said. He added that this "doesn't mean we're not going to be combat-ready," but rather that the U.S. and other international forces will no longer be in "the formal combat role we're in now."

    Panetta said the administration wants to make sure that the Afghan forces, after foreign troops depart, are "sufficient and sustainable," but noted that will require continuing financial support not only from the United States but also from allies and many other countries.
  2. Although I wish it was sooner... Bravo President Obama

    Mitt Romney Calls Leon Panetta's Afghanistan Withdrawal Announcement 'Misguided'

    LAS VEGAS - Mitt Romney offered harsh criticism of a plan outlined by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to possibly withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan in 2013, calling the administration's decision to announce its military plans to the world "misguided" and "naive."

    "The president's mistakes, some of them are calculated on a philosophy that's hard to understand and, sometimes, you scratch you head and say: How can he be so misguided and so naive?" said Romney during a visit to a Brady Industries warehouse, where janitorial supplies lined the shelves.

    "Today, his secretary of defense unleashed such a policy," said Romney. "The secretary of defense said that on a day certain, the middle of 2013, we're going to pull out our combat troops from Afghanistan."

    Panetta told reporters en route to a NATO meeting in Brussels that the administration hopes to remove combat troops by 2013 and continue a training and advisory role with Afghan forces through 2014.

    "He announced that. He announced that. So the Taliban hears it, the Pakistanis hear it, the Afghan leaders hear it," said Romney. "Why in the world do you go to the people that you're fighting with and tell them the date you're pulling out your troops? It makes absolutely no sense."

    "His naivete is putting in jeopardy the mission of the United States of America and our commitments to freedom," he said. "He is wrong. We need new leadership in Washington."

    Romney has said repeatedly on the campaign stump that his own decision regarding withdrawing troops from Afghanistan would be based on advice from generals on the ground.
  4. Dont agree with Generals deciding national defense policy

    MacArthur wanted to nuke China,The Generals wanted JFK to bomb Cuba which had Russian troops that would have been killed
  5. Mitt has to throw some meat to the militarist GOP minions. They're happiest with guns in head and hand and there's nothing they can't fix in the world without bullets.
  6. 377OHMS


    Stopping the war is some sensible way is good. The guy said he would do that during his campaign.

    My objection is that they deliberately leaked the information this week, over a year before the scheduled withdrawal, just to enhance Obama's reelection chances. He just wants to be able to say that he will end the war.

    I don't think he was elected to permanently campaign for the next election. All the guy does now is fly around to fund-raisers.

    All politics and no substance, the Chicago Way.
  7. Crispy


    Do not get too excited. The troops just need some rest before Iran.

    Our business is war..and biz is going to remain good if the lobbyists have a word in the matter.
  8. 377OHMS


    I don't think the regime is so foolhardy as to put a bunch of ground forces into Iran.

    There might be some huge air attack, more likely a few weeks of sorties but I can't imagine somebody thinking we could invade and occupy a country of 70 million people.

    Those troops in Afghanistan are coming home and they will be discharged in the name of reduced military budgets. Many of them will end up on unemployment compensation, food and housing assistance etc, y'know, good Democrats. :D
  9. What happened? Not wearing your zionist shill hat today?
  10. 377OHMS



    The sniper who can't shoot straight.

    Hows the fake journal coming along TJ?
    #10     Feb 2, 2012