Pentagon: Wait Til Fall 2012 to End Afghanistan Surge
Military pushes for slow withdrawal as Obama weighs next move
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 17, 2011 7:13 AM CDT
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates listens to a question during a media availability at the Pentagon Thursday, June 16, 2011 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The military has called on President Obama to keep the Afghanistan troop surge in place until the fall of next year, ensuring that many of the 33,000 extra troops remain in the country for the next two fighting seasons, when the weather is warm. The military wants to avoid a 2012 scenario in which it loses large numbers of troops just as militants are becoming most active, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move would come with a political perk for Obama: Many troops would be coming home just before the 2012 election.

Obama has urged a July drawdown of an unspecified numbers of troops, and his decision on when to end the surge will likely come this month. Officials have said they expect 3,000 to 5,000 troops to exit next month, with another 5,000 returning in the autumn. Outgoing defense secretary Robert Gates backs the military’s call for a slow withdrawal, as do some analysts. “Trying to draw down forces in the middle of a fight is counterproductive,” notes one. But some Obama allies are pushing for a quicker pullout, including Joe Biden and Senate Armed Forces Chair Carl Levin.

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Jun 17, 2011 12:50 PM CDT
What would "another fighting season" get us other than more casualties? It's not as though we are going to WIN. We've been there almost as long as The USSR was. Now, who does it REALLY help for us to be there 2 fighting seasons? Let's see...The defense industry, maybe Obama, maybe not, China (as we owe them more $$$) Saudi Arabia (as we are dependent on them for fuel and bases and as they control the price of it more and could crush us with a slow-down) al Qaida (as we go further and deeper into our financial hole, look more monsterous to their recruits), CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, the military brass (as they grow and get more funding and military officers get more rank).....And who does it hurt?
Jun 17, 2011 7:33 AM CDT
Must be nice being a US solider....knowing that your life is on the line or off the line according to somebody's political career.
Jun 17, 2011 7:28 AM CDT
I do not see the troops being recalled until the fall of 2012, near election time, but for a different reason. If they were recalled today, what effect do you think that would have on the unemployment numbers?