President Obama will be making an important announcement on Wednesday. He will officially announce plans to either withdrawal or significantly cut the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan next month. Also at issue is whether the U.S. will officially hand the reigns over to the Afghan troops in 2014 to handle their own national security.
“He’s finalizing his decision. He’s reviewing his options,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said today.
Varying opinions from all sides are hounding Obama. Many believe that with Bin Laden taken out, and al Qaida on the decline, a complete withdrawal is warranted.
According to a Associated Press-GfK poll in May, 80% of Americans say they approve of Obama’s decision to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops in July and a complete end to military operations in Afghanistan by 2014. Of those polled, only 15% disapprove of the withdrawal.
Keep in mind that Obama tripled the number of troops in Afghanistan. He added 30,000 troops in 2009 as he had promised when elected. There are currently over 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The 30,000 surge in 2009 was done with Obama’s promise to bring home troops in July 2011--next month.
Will Obama keep the troops intact under pressure from General Patraeus, who is the top NATO commander in Afghanistan? Or will Obama consider the opinions of a growing number of senators--Democrats and Republicans, who are calling for a shift in strategy with significant troop reductions.
With 1,427 dead American soldiers and counting, why remain? The Karzai government has no incentive to secure their own country. With millions of U.S. dollars pouring in every year to the tune of over $52 million—why have the U.S. leave?
Today the International Monetary Fund (IMF) refused to release $70 million in reconstruction funds to the Afghan government. With massive government corruption, the IMF questioned whether to withhold future payments. Add the U.S. money that was taken out of the country in suitcases, and it adds up to a small niche of the Afghani elite becoming very wealthy while the rest of the country falls apart and starves.
Let’s hope that Obama will have the common sense to make the wisest decision.