Obama Weighs Quicker Afghanistan Pullout
But Gates, Petraeus point to risks
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 6, 2011 6:54 AM CDT
Updated Jun 6, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates speaks to troops at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Walton in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jason Reed, pool)

(Newser) – With Osama bin Laden dead and war costs increasing, the Obama administration is weighing a sharper drawdown of troops from Afghanistan than it had planned, the New York Times reports. But the issue is still very much up in the air, and outgoing defense secretary Robert Gates advocates slower steps. “I would try to maximize my combat capability as long as this process goes on—I think that’s a no-brainer,” he said. “I’d opt to keep the shooters and take the support out first.”

Meanwhile, David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has warned about Taliban attempts to “regain momentum” after setbacks in Helmand and Kandahar. “We’ve always said they would be compelled to try to come back.” As Gates makes his last tour of Afghanistan, there’s no evidence of a slowdown, Politico notes. “It’s still violent, and the security gains will be ephemeral if we don’t have get it right on the Afghan side and civilian side,” says one top official. “We have the density. But do we have the time?”

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Jun 6, 2011 11:28 AM CDT
Why don't we just leave from the top of the Afghan embassy in helicopters. Isn't that our traditional way to withdraw from a losing war? Those people we "bombed back to the stone age" are way smarter than we give them credit for. Why not let them take care of their own security. I'm sure they would dispatch our pet gangster, Karzai with great facility and very quickly. Then they could decide, province by province how to govern themselves. We've left enough weapons around so that just about everyone should be able to "vote." Enough. They don't want us there and we have accomplished nothing but loss of innocent blood on both sides and emptying out the treasury (what we didn't give to Wall St.).
Jun 6, 2011 8:25 AM CDT
We done enough damage, killed the big leaders, found Osama bin Laden ------------->>>>>>> Time to come home. <:-)
Jun 6, 2011 8:14 AM CDT
says one top official. “We have the density" - Indeed. Just. Go. Home. (That's assuming your minders will let you, Barack).