Obama declares beginning of end of his chosen war
President Barack Obama Wednesday ordered all 33,000 US surge troops home from Afghanistan by next summer and declared the beginning of the end of the war, vowing to turn to nation building at home.As the Iraq war winds down, Obama said, he wants to see troops redirected to Afghanistan. He said the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda was a war “we have to win” and repeated his call for two more combat brigades in Afghanistan to counteract “deteriorating” conditions. Obama lost hope and saying Washington would no longer try to build a “perfect” Afghanistan from a nation traumatized by its blood soaked history.A recently released congressional investigation concluded that U.S. nation-building efforts in Afghanistan fuel corruption and distort local economies, undermining U.S. aims to stabilize the country. American-trained and funded Afghan militias have reportedly terrorized the local civilian populations, in some cases “beating, robbing and even killing with impunity.”
But he ultimately rejected appeals from the Pentagon for a slower drawdown to safeguard gains against the Taliban and his decision will be seen as a political defeat for talismanic war General David Petraeus.
The Taliban “considers this announcement, which currently withdraws 10,000 soldiers this year, only as a symbolic step which will never satisfy the war-weary international community or the American people,” it said.
The statement, emailed to media by Taliban spokesman Tariq Ghazniwal, also accused the United States of “repeatedly giving false hopes to its nation about ending this war and claiming baselessly about victory”.
Though the drawdown will nominally remove 33,000 surge troops, only between 3,000 and 5,000 troops will actually be leaving any time soon.U.S. military officials have indicated that despite the expected reduction in forces, the U.S. will maintain a military presence in Afganistan beyond 2014.