Saturday, November 29, 2014
In a not too surprising announcement by President Obama, a decision to pull out American combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 has been reversed. The international military force led by the Americans now will stay in Afghanistan throughout 2015.
The main reason for the change of heart by the President may be that he sees the need to keep U.S. troops in the fight against the Taliban and other militant groups, the ones that threaten Americans and the Afghan government. With the rapid spread of ISIL after the withdrawal of U.S. occupation in Iraq, it will also serve to keep the ISIL rebels from committing a hostile takeover of Afghan territory. The President was adamant that U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan, but President Obama has taken another look of the possible reactions by terrorist groups in the surrounding countries. The President would be the first one to admit that by pulling troops out of Iraq was the single largest reason for the ISIL insurgence into the country of Iraq today. The main goal will be shifted to keep Americans safe, while they in turn keep fighting the Taliban or whomever provide direct support to al Qaeda.
Still, the present plan to remove around 4,900 troops by the end of next year still stands. That is approximately half of the total number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the moment. With the change of heart, the action by the President will now allow for more air campaigns and the use of drones for support. It's been now 13 years and counting, the amount of time that American troops have occupied Afghanistan. So far there has been 2,351 American soldiers that have perished in the conflicts, holding the largest number of casualties amongst other nations at war in Afghanistan, to include the United Kingdom, but their totals of all other soldiers kills tops 1100, less than half of the total number of American casualties.
Prior to the election of the new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who now favors extended help from the United States, the dethroned leader, Hamid Karzai wanted American troops out of his country. Will all that is happening in that part of the world, to include Syria, the President is making a very conscious move, even if his will is to remove all American troops from battle in that part of the country before he leaves office. It now is highly unlikely that American troops will leave that region by 2016.