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(60,364 posts)
Sat Jan 28, 2012, 11:20 AM Jan 2012

The US may be getting out of Afghanistan earlier than 2014

On January 27, 2012, the Washington Post said:

France will speed up troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by one year
By Edward Cody and Karen DeYoung, Published: January 27

PARIS — France announced Friday that it will pull its combat forces out of Afghanistan one year ahead of the scheduled NATO withdrawal and said it would urge the rest of the alliance to do the same.

President Nicolas Sarkozy made the unexpected proposal in concert with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a news conference here. “We have decided .?.?. to ask NATO to consider a total handing of NATO combat missions to the Afghan army over the course of 2013,” Sarkozy said.

The move dramatized growing uncertainty, in Afghanistan as well as in NATO countries, over the future of the U.S.-led military campaign against the Taliban. It could also complicate the Obama administration’s deliberations over the pace of withdrawing U.S. troops.

The 33,000 “surge” troops President Obama sent to Afghanistan in 2010 are due to be home by the end of summer. The military believes that the remaining 68,000 should stay until the end of the 2014 summer fighting season to maintain and expand what they say are gains against the Taliban. Reopening NATO discussions on an end date would probably strengthen the hand of administration officials who envision a faster, phased drawdown that would save money as well as U.S. lives.

On January 28, 2012 the Washington Post sez:


Afghans criticize plan for early French withdrawal, say 2013 NATO handover would be ‘mistake’
By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, January 28, 8:58 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan — France’s plans to withdraw its combat troops from Afghanistan a year early drew harsh words Saturday in the Afghan capital, with critics accusing French President Nicolas Sarkozy of putting domestic politics ahead of Afghans’ safety.

A wider proposal by Sarkozy for NATO to hand over all security to Afghans by the end of next year also came under fire, with one Afghan lawmaker saying it would be “a big mistake” that would leave security forces unprepared to fight the Taliban insurgency and threaten a new descent into violence in the 10-year-old war.

Sarkozy’s decision, which came a week after four French troops were shot dead by an Afghan army trainee suspected of being a Taliban infiltrator, raises new questions about the unity of the U.S.-led military coalition.

It also reopens the debate over whether setting a deadline for troop withdrawals will allow the Taliban to run out the clock and seize more territory once foreign forces are gone.

On January 27, 2012, the Associated Press said:

France, Karzai now want expedited NATO exit
Friday, Jan. 27, 2012
By JAMEY KEATEN - Associated Press

PARIS -- France and Afghanistan agree NATO should speed up by a year its timetable for handing all combat operations to Afghan forces in 2013, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday, raising new questions about the unity of the Western military alliance.

Sarkozy also announced a faster-track exit for France, the fourth-largest contributor of troops in Afghanistan - marking a distinct break from previous plans to adhere to the U.S. goal of withdrawing combat forces by the end of 2014. The proposal comes a week after four unarmed French troops were killed by an Afghan soldier described as a Taliban infiltrator.

Sarkozy, alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai who was in Paris for a previously planned visit, said France had told the U.S. of its plan, and will present it at a Feb. 2-3 meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. He said he would call President Barack Obama about it Saturday.


A sense of mission fatigue has been growing among some European contributors to the 10-year allied intervention in Afghanistan. The new idea floated by Sarkozy would accelerate a gradual drawdown of NATO troops that Obama has planned to see through until the end of 2014.

unhappycamper comment: It's about time adults took over the situation.

Don't know if you were aware of it, but the Pakistan border closure a few weeks ago adds about another $100 million a week to the supply costs.

We would save at least $100 billion dollars were we to get out of Afghanistan in 2013.

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The US may be getting out of Afghanistan earlier than 2014 (Original Post) unhappycamper Jan 2012 OP
I agree bigtree Jan 2012 #1
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