Afghanistan exit strategy

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Obama Ditches Afghanistan Withdrawal Plan

More than 5K will remain when he leaves office

(Newser) - President Obama is scrapping a big goal of his presidency—to leave office with only a token force of troops in Afghanistan. Instead, in what the Wall Street Journal calls a "major reversal," Obama has decided to scrap the current withdrawal plan. About 10,000 US troops are... More »

US Slows Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan

About 10,000 will be there at year's end, not 5,500

(Newser) - Afghan's new president gets along much better with the US than did predecessor Hamid Karzai, and today that paid off for him: President Obama agreed to Ashraf Ghani's request to slow down the withdrawal of US troops from the country. Under the original plan, nearly half of the... More »

US, NATO Formally End Afghanistan War

Afghan forces set to take over as Taliban remains deadly as ever

(Newser) - The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan today with a ceremony at military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains as ferocious and deadly as at any time since the 2001 invasion that unseated the Taliban. The symbolic ceremony marked the... More »

US Is Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan

And that might not be a bad thing: Max Fisher

(Newser) - President Obama revealed a new Afghanistan exit timeline yesterday , and with it confirmed "what everybody already knew: the war against the Taliban is not one that the US believes it can win, so we're going to stop trying," writes Max Fisher at Vox . That might not be... More »

Obama to Keep 9.8K Troops in Afghanistan

But next Afghan leader has to sign the BSA

(Newser) - On the heels of his surprise visit to American troops in Afghanistan , President Obama today will put the number of troops he intends to keep there at 9,800, with the intent to call most of those home by 2016. But there's a "but": Kabul, soon to be... More »

US May Leave Less Than 5K Troops in Afghanistan

US military has said 10K is the minimum needed

(Newser) - The US military has said at least 10,000 troops must remain in Afghanistan in order to continue training Afghan forces while also keeping themselves safe —but the White House is now telling Reuters that State Department and Pentagon officials are considering dropping well below that threshold, possibly leaving... More »

US' New Afghanistan Plan: Forget Karzai

Military revising exit plan to give Obama room to negotiate with the next guy

(Newser) - The US military is changing its Afghan exit strategy to give President Obama a chance to negotiate a security deal with whoever succeeds Hamid Karzai, the Wall Street Journal reports. Obama is increasingly frustrated with Karzai, with whom he pointedly hasn't spoken since last summer. "If he's... More »

Afghanistan Exit Plans: Leave 10K Troops —or None

And, according to one report, pull out fast

(Newser) - The Pentagon has offered President Obama a stark choice: Leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of the year, or yank them all. The military argues that dropping below that threshold will leave it unable to protect any remaining US personnel, the New York Times reports. The State... More »

Negotiator Sees No Hope for Afghan Deal by Deadline

Relations worsen as US accidentally kills 4-year-old child

(Newser) - The US isn't going to get the security deal it wants in Afghanistan on the timetable that it wants it in, the Obama administration's top negotiator has privately warned Washington. In a classified cable, Ambassador James Cunningham said that Hamid Karzai would likely stick to his on-again off-again... More »

US Relying on Dangerous Tunnel to Exit Afghanistan

Has put $19.5M into improving Salang Tunnel

(Newser) - How will the US military exit Afghanistan? It may rely, at least in part, on a tunnel that's been called the "world's most treacherous," NBC News reports. A few people die each year from the carbon monoxide that persists in the 1.6-mile-long Salang Tunnel in... More »

US, Karzai Butt Heads Over Afghan Security Deal

Karzai wants Gitmo releases, help with Taliban talks; US threatens to walk

(Newser) - As the US and Afghanistan attempt to hammer out a troop withdrawal agreement, things are getting testier on both sides. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is telling US National Security Adviser Susan Rice that he won't sign any deal unless the US agrees to new demands. He wants Washington to... More »

New Deal Would Keep US in Afghanistan Until 2024

Afghan grand council of elders votes on it today

(Newser) - US and Afghan negotiators have struck a security deal that will keep US troops in Afghanistan through 2024, while keeping billions of aid dollars pumping into Kabul, John Kerry announced yesterday. Hamid Karzai today presented the deal to the Loya Jirga , Afghanistan's grand council of elders, urging them to... More »

US Military Selling Off All Its Gear in Afghanistan

Too bad it's breaking it all first

(Newser) - Searching for a good deal on a used treadmill? Look no further than Afghanistan, where the US military is selling off 2 million to 14 million pounds of its equipment every week, as it winds down operations there. There's just one catch, reports the Washington Post : most of the... More »

US Has Been Building Afghan Dam Since 1950s

Inspector general: Great Pyramid of Giza was erected faster

(Newser) - The US started construction on Afghanistan's Kajaki dam in the early 1950s—and it's still not done. "After using multiple contractors and sub­contractors, spending tens of millions of dollars, and losing scores of US and coalition lives, the work is still not complete," writes the... More »

Military Will Never Use New $34M Afghanistan Base

Critics say it's the most glaring boondoggle in a war full of them: Washington Post

(Newser) - When a two-star general visited the new 64,000-square-foot US military headquarters building at Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan, he was impressed. It's "better appointed than any Marine headquarters anywhere in the world," he tells the Washington Post , before adding, "What the hell were they thinking?"... More »

'Frustrated' Obama May Yank All Troops in Afghanistan

Relations with Karzai going downhill fast, insiders say

(Newser) - President Obama is so sick of dealing with Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai that he is seriously considering bringing American military involvement in the country to a speedy and complete end, senior administration officials tell CNN and the New York Times . The "zero option" of leaving no American troops... More »

UK Lawmakers Warn of Afghan Civil War

Plan appears to be to 'hope for the best,' committee finds

(Newser) - Afghanistan is in danger of descending into civil war after coalition forces end their frontline role next year, and the UK government's strategy appears to be simply to withdraw and hope for the best, a group of British lawmakers warns. A report from a cross-party defense committee warns that... More »

Hagel Meets Karzai After Threats, Friction

Pushes back against Karzai's US-Taliban comments

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel finally did meet privately with Afghan President Hamid Karzai yesterday before returning to Washington today, and despite the security concerns that initially canceled the meeting , Hagel told the press he and Karzai discussed key issues, the AP reports. "I think he understands where we are and where... More »

Threat Cancels Hagel-Karzai Press Conference

And not Karzai's statement that US, Taliban are colluding: Pentagon

(Newser) - A news conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai was cancelled because of a security threat, but the two men plan to meet privately. The cancellation comes a day after a suicide bomber on a bicycle struck outside the Afghan Defense Ministry, killing nine Afghan civilians... More »

Karzai Boots US Special Forces From Restive Wardak

Gives special forces 2 weeks to get out

(Newser) - Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai says all US special forces must leave eastern Wardak province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans. Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi says today's decision was taken during a meeting of the National Security Council because... More »

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