Dec. 8, 2014

Military Ends Combat Command in Afghanistan

On Dec. 8, 2014, the U.S. military lowered the flag and closed combat command in Afghanistan. The U.S. will keep 13,000 troops in the country after Jan. 1, and will keep sending the troops home until only a small group protecting the U.S. embassy remains from the end of 2016 forward. But the Afghani government won’t be making the same mistake that the Iraqi government made as the United States tried to withdrawal from the country. If the U.S. military pulls out too quickly and security in Afghanistan collapses, it will be the Obama administration’s fault, not that of Afghani President Ashraf Ghani. While U.S. forces are scheduled to leave the country by 2016, Ghani wants the U.S. to stay a bit longer and further assist in building the country. “Mr. Ghani in a Saturday meeting with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hinted that he would like to see a slower withdrawal, according to U.S. officials,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “In other conversations with U.S. officials, the Afghan president has made plain his hope that the U.S. will alter its plans and keep a higher number of troops in the country through 2016.” The problem with this plan is that if troops stayed, then Obama can’t take credit for pulling troops out of two conflicts. More…

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