President Obama, acting against the advice of top Pentagon advisers, will announce to the country on Wednesday night the withdrawal of up to 30,000 US troops from Afghanistan before November, 2012, just in time for the presidential election.
Military Wants Strong Afghan Presence
The advice of his top military personnel has been to maintain a strong US presence in the fragile country, urging the president to keep the number of troops there high until sometime in 2013.The news of an accelerated pull-out will be met with dismay by both American and British commanders now stationed in Kabul. These military experts have said privately that they believe this move is driven by political expediencies and is not necessarily serving the military imperatives of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan.
Obama Speaking to Nation
Obama’s upcoming address to the nation is his sixth since taking the reins of the nation and is purported to signify the start of the end of the US presence in Afghanistan. Today there are about 100,000 US troops in the formerly war-torn nation.General David Petraeus, a NATO commander, has explained the many risks of withdrawing too fast and too soon. He has warned Obama that there has not been a noticeable positive effect in the situation caused by the death of Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida head.
Need to Destroy Taliban
One military leader said that they need one full year of a concentrated presence in Afghanistan to strengthen the security there and attack Taliban strongholds which could take over the country if left on their own.
“They say they need another full year of this,” one official explained. “They want as much as possible for as long as possible.”