Obama: Let's Not 'Rush for the Exits' in Afghanistan
But president is 'more determined' to withdraw troops
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 6:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama warned today against a "rush for the exits" in Afghanistan over the alleged killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier, CBS News reports. "I think it's important for us just to make sure that we are not ... in Afghanistan longer than we need to be," Obama said in an interview with a CBS affiliate. But in a separate interview, he added that "it's important for us to make sure that we get out in responsible way, so that we don't end up having to go back in."

"What we don't want to do is to do it in a way that is just a rush for the exits." Leaving "in a responsible way" will help Afghans "protect their borders and prevent al-Qaeda from coming back." Pressed on whether the Afghan massacre made him want to speed up America's withdrawal, the president said he is "more determined" to bring US troops home. Washington is planning to withdraw about 23,000 of its 91,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of September, and pull out at least all conventional forces by the end of 2014.