troop withdrawal

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US Eyes Slow Afghan Exit

And Afghanistan readies for new Taliban talks

(Newser) - The US is considering slowing its military exit from Afghanistan by keeping a larger-than-planned troop presence this year and next because the new Afghan government is proving to be a more reliable partner, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said yesterday. Carter, on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon... More »

Ukraine Forces Give Up Key Town

Separatists gain control of Debaltseve rail hub

(Newser) - A ceasefire in Ukraine didn't stop fighting in the rail hub of Debaltseve, which links two rebel strongholds. Now, government troops are withdrawing from the area in what the Wall Street Journal calls a big setback; Ukraine had previously said it would hold the town as it grappled with... More »

Gaza Ceasefire Begins; Israel Troops Withdraw

Next step: talks on lasting truce

(Newser) - Just before an Egypt-brokered ceasefire took hold in Gaza this morning, both sides exchanged fire. Several hours into the truce, however, things have been calm, the Washington Post reports, while the Guardian sees a chance at a "definitive end" to the latest conflict. Israel says it has withdrawn all... More »

Obama Warns Karzai US Ready to Pull All Troops Out

If Karzai won't sign security deal, plans for a contingency force may be scrapped

(Newser) - President Obama scolded Hamid Karzai by phone today and warned him that the US is preparing to bring home all its troops at the end of the year, instead of leaving a contingency force behind, reports Politico . Karzai refuses to sign a security deal that, among other things, would grant... More »

Full Withdrawal From Afghanistan Grows More Likely

As US prepares to suspend failing negotiations

(Newser) - The US is getting nowhere in its negotiations with Afghanistan over the future of America's military presence in the country, rendering the prospect of a total troop withdrawal in 2014 ever more likely. Officials say they're getting ready to suspend talks unless there's a breakthrough in the... 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 »

Hamid Karzai: US Is Giving Us a Drone Fleet

But division remains over Afghanistan troop withdrawal

(Newser) - In his first public comments since his visit to Washington, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced yesterday that the US is giving Afghanistan a fleet of unarmed aerial spy drones, the New York Times reports. A pleased Karzai said his meetings with President Obama gave him most of what he wanted;... More »

US Considers Total Afghan Withdrawal

'Zero option' after 2014 raised before Karzai talks

(Newser) - How many US troops should stay in Afghanistan after the NATO combat mission ends next year? For the first time, officials are now saying zero is an option. Commanders recommend keeping a force of up to 15,000 in the country, but Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, speaking to... More »

Post-2014 Afghanistan: US Has 3 Options

Gen. Allen presents scenarios to Pentagon

(Newser) - Gen. John Allen has submitted three options to the Pentagon for how to maintain a presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 military withdrawal, defense officials tell the New York Times :
  • 6,000 troops, highest risk of failure: At this level, the US mission would focus on counterterrorism. Special Ops commandos
... More »

Post-2014 Plan: Keep 10K Troops in Afghanistan

But Karzai must still agree

(Newser) - The White House has settled on the number of troops it wants to leave in Afghanistan post-2014: 10,000. Gen. John Allen had recommended keeping between 6,000 and 15,000 troops there after formal combat ends to train Afghan troops and fight terrorism. The Obama administration's final choice... More »

Afghan Police Bases US Built for $19M Sit Empty

Report: some infrastructure projects could even prove detrimental

(Newser) - When US inspectors looked at four border police bases in Afghanistan—funded by the US at a cost of almost $19 million—they found most of the facilities on three of those bases had either been abandoned or weren't being used as intended, the Wall Street Journal reports. The... More »

Getting Out of Afghanistan Will Cost Us Billions

Thanks to geography, it's an 'order of magnitude' harder than Iraq

(Newser) - Fighting a war isn't cheap, and in Afghanistan's case, neither is ending one. The US is set to get everyone out by 2014, but getting everything out will cost billions, says Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. "Combat is still going on. Terrible terrain. Narrow roads. Long way... More »

What's the US to Do After Exiting Iraq? Stay in Kuwait

13.5K soldiers will help secure the region: report

(Newser) - The US has no combat force in Iraq and a wary eye on Iran: What's a nervous country to do? Maintain a force in neighboring Kuwait, apparently. The AP obtained an advance copy of a congressional report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, set to be released today, that... More »

US Support for Afghan War Plummets

69% say US shouldn't be there

(Newser) - American support for the war in Afghanistan has reached an all-time low, according to the latest New York Times / CBS poll. Some 69% of those polled believe the US shouldn't be fighting in Afghanistan, up from 53% just four months ago. Support has plunged among both Democrats and... More »

Sarkozy Wants Out of Afghanistan Next Year

France will withdraw combat troops by the end of 2013

(Newser) - 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 today, raising new questions about the unity of the Western military alliance. Sarkozy also announced that all French combat troops will leave the... More »

Iraq Detaining US Contractors

Country is flexing muscles after troop withdrawal: NYT

(Newser) - Many foreign contractors—possibly hundreds, and including Americans who work for the US Embassy—have been detained in Iraq in recent weeks, for periods ranging from a few hours to almost three weeks. Iraqi authorities are cracking down on these contractors in the wake of last month's American troop... More »

Afghan Desertion Rates Soar as US Withdraws

Officials blame poor Afghan leadership, but increase a concern

(Newser) - Desertions from the Afghan army are soaring this year, amounting to one in seven of the country's 170,000 soldiers in the first six months of 2011, and casting doubts on the government's ability to maintain its own security, reports the Washington Post . The trend—more than twice... More »

Adm. Mullen: For Smooth Iraq Withdrawal, 'Now Is the Time'

Further delay of Iraq government's decision could jeopardize smooth transition

(Newser) - Iraq's indecision on whether to ask American forces to stay beyond the end of the year is pushing the US close to the point where a smooth, safe troop withdrawal will be jeopardized, the top US military officer said today upon arriving in the country. Adm. Mike Mullen said... More »

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