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Obama to leave about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on June 30. A twin suicide attack on a convoy of buses carrying police cadets killed 37 people and wounded 40 others on Thursday, an Afghan official said.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter listens at left as President Barack Obama makes a statement on Afghanistan from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington today..

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama said today the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America’s interests depend on helping Afghanistan’s struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others.

In a statement at the White House, Obama said he was acting after receiving recommendations from top military leaders who urged him to revise his earlier plan. He said boosting the planned troops levels from that planned level would help U.S. allies prepare their own contribution to the fight and would help the next president make good decisions about the future of U.S. involvement in the country where America has been fighting since 2001.

“The decision I’m making today ensures that my successor has a solid foundation for progress in Afghanistan, as well as the flexibility to address the threat of terrorism as it evolves,” Obama said.

He added, “l firmly believe the decision I’m announcing is the right thing to do.”

The numbers reflect a compromise between Obama’s original plan and what many military commanders had recommended.

Obama had planned to drop troop levels from the current 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2016. But a Taliban resurgence has led Washington to rethink its exit strategy.

Obama said the U.S. mission would remain narrowly focused on “training and advising” Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al-Qaida, the group that attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11.

“We are no longer engaged in a major ground war in Afghanistan,” he said. Still, he said, Americans serving in their more limited missions there still face serious dangers

Obama announced alongside Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Joseph Dunford.

Last month a group of more than a dozen former U.S. ambassadors and former commanders of U.S. forces in Afghanistan wrote to Obama urging that he sustain the current level of U.S. troops through the remainder of his term in office. They included Gen. John F. Campbell, who had been the top U.S. commander in Kabul until four months ago, and retired Gen. David Petraeus.

“Unless emergency conditions require consideration of a modest increase, we would strongly favor a freeze at the level of roughly 10,000 U.S. troops through January 30,” they wrote in a June 1 letter. “This approach would allow your successor to assess for herself or himself and make further adjustments accordingly.”

Obama’s announcement will help shape his legacy. A president who came into office promising to end the wars he inherited, has instead found himself wrestling with continued conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan and new conflicts in Syria and Libya.

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    • Obama’s doesn’t get it. If the US is going to be in the WAR in the MidEast the US has to play to win to completely destroy the enemy. If not, Get the US men/women in uniform out of the MidEast conflict or this thing goes on forever. It will never end with the MidEast backstabbers as every tribe is wanting to rule. You Have to annihilate all adversaries brutally so the people understand who rules, there’s no other way IMO. China, Japan, etc. went thru the whole trip of unifying the Country long ago in history.

      • Obama and Hilliary have to get back on the stump to stop that email drip, drip, drip. Liar, liar, liar. The more they talk the worse it will get. She stands behind Obama smiling like the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Quite the sight.

        • Keonigohan, if only republicans had such failure. But no, under republicans we saw a 30% loss in the stock market while under a democratic president, we have had well over a 100% increase. I know which I favor. But keep shorting the stock market. lol

        • Boots….Where did I comment on the stock mkt here?
          Since you went off tangent let me ask you…why did O spend millions to seal his personal records…what is he hiding?

        • Keoningohan, you stated “O=fail”. Just saying it would have been nice if republicans had the failure of Obama where the stock market has more than doubled. Sorry, but the stock market would not have doubled under a failed presidency. As to your question about sealing his personal records, I suppose it is probably the same reason G W Bush sealed or hid his records as governor. It is not like Obama is the first president to do this. I suspect probably all have done it to some extent. I mean the Donald hasn’t released his tax returns yet even though all presidential candidates since Nixon have? Whats with that?

        • The thought of bootie being capable of accurately describing alternate courses of history is even more humorous than his usual illogical rants. Please, before your tangents get even more extreme, consider that brain scan,,,

      • Close the borders and allow nobody to the West from these horrible Muslim countries. We do not need anybody from there, in fact we do not need any more immigration at all. Let the people in those countries devastate each other if they want to – it is none of our business.

    • To be replaced by a woman. Imagine that. lol Who knows, maybe her first appointment will be Obama to the Supreme Court. Republicans are so pathetic. Why have they abandoned republican values? And why would anyone vote for such a dictatorial party that only believes in welfare for the rich?

        • I probably will be voting for Johnson as I would like a third party to be included in presidential debates in the future and Hawaii will obviously be going for Hillary. But I have little doubt that Hillary will win the election in Nov. over the Donald. Just remembered who started this mess in the middle east.

        • bootie! That’s twice you’ve alluded to possibly supporting Johnson. Stay the course, and do what you’re slowly realizing is the right thing. If enough of us take that to heart, this nation may yet see a pivotal change for the better.

      • But what of Democrat values and contributions? Here they are:

        Inflaming an ever increasing racial divide.

        Impoverishing the largest progressive run state, California, with the highest percentage of those living under the poverty line.

        Ignoring our soon to be insolvent entitlement programs (Social Security Disability next year).

        Presiding over the slowest economic recovery, the lowest labor participation rate in 4 decades.

        Squandering US influence in the world at the expense of vital national interests, particularly the Middle East.

        Negotiating a nuclear agreement that will set of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and actually shelter the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

        An immigration policy that amounts to the dissolution of our borders in order to import democrat party voters.

        Use of the IRS like a sort of political gestapo to shut up conservative groups.

        Supporting the sale of baby body parts.

        These appear to be the guiding principles of the Democrat party, either by design or by ignorance, aimed at a slow destruction of the country.

      • But you forget to realize, let me ask you who’s the POTUS today that had nearly 8 years to correct the problem you say Bush started? It’s Obama! he failed tying to correct the problem or he doesn’t see it as a big problem Bush created? Enlightem me ALlie

        • O & hiLIARy created ISIS…the JV team who are on the run…hiLIARy made the Middle East WORST!

        • How exactly did Obama make it worse? Funny you should mention qualification for the office president when the republicans are about to nominate a person with zero political experience and has gone through bankruptcies 4 times. Professional wrestling may be fun to watch, but it is hardly qualification to run for the presidency.

        • Boots, stay on the subject, lol. Obama didn’t fix Bush’s problem for the 8 years he’s led the Country. Are you lost for words to carry on the conversation of the war?

        • Poor Pocho, I am on subject. Do you have a problem comprehending? It was not me who said O made it worse and community organizers are not qualified.

        • Boots…O created a vacuum by leaving and thus ISIS was born. O made it worse…isn’t O’s ( your potus, not mine) job to fix things?

    • That email problem is about to grenade and likely be a talking point for years to come. The House Oversight Committee, arguably the most powerful Congrssional Committee has asked Comey to testify. Chaffetz (R) is the chairman.

        • I’d like to believe Comey is trying to put AG Lynch on the spot. He’s the finder of facts and not the prosecutor but gave his opinion if there’s a case to be tried. Now, will AG Lynch step in and give her take on it? And you figure if Lynch just states there’s no case against Hillary, people will still say the system is rigged! hahahahaha, no matter what now that has transpired over the last 2 weeks or so it does seem like a rigged inside job.

      • If Allaha is the Prime Minister of Trollistan, you must be the Secretary of State. Don’t you have anything better to do? Oh wait, Cranky Old Men don’t actually do anything, they just moan about what others do. Get a hobby.

        • cellodad lost for coherent dialogue..typical liberal response when fhey have no substance. Klastri couldn’t answer this question maybe gou can…”what are hiLIARy’s accomplishments that benefited a majority of Americans?

        • Why on earth would I be interested in talking about Mrs. Clinton’s accomplishments or Mr. Trump’s for that matter. I don’t support either of them.

        • Well. Proof that you can type. Still waiting for proof of a cohesive thought.

  • In the final months of his evil tenture, our Muslim President Barack Hussein Obama announce another decision for the military – to slow down cut backs in Afganistan. During Obama tenture he has done big damage to our military by cutting its strength and manpower to a very dangerous level. Whenever you have a Democrat in the White House, our military takes a beating. Barack Hussein Obama is not only the worst U.S. President in American history but he has taken our military to a new low in history that you have the Russians and Chinese harrasing our military because of our weak and apologetic Muslim President that our military is being taking advantage too.
    I wish this libera Democrat Muslim President retire now and go home to his real home in Chicago or is it Kenya.
    Until he walks out of the White House for good, Obama will continue to do damage to America with his remaining time as President.
    A weak and pathetic Republicans who control Congress has failed to IMPEACHED this Muslim long ago.

    • Oh come on, wake up Blackmurano! First of all even if Obama is a Muslim, we have the first amendment or have you forgotten that? So whether he is a Muslim or not is just not relevant, just as if the Donald was a member of the Church of Scientology. We also have a separation of Church and State. But Obama is not a Muslim, he was a member of the United Church of Christ, a relatively good denomination of Christianity. He also sent his kids to a Quaker school. Second of all damage was done to our military primarily by your hero G W Bush who had to rush into war to support his buddies in the defense industry. Multiple rapid deployments have weakened our military and stressed it big time. We are not safer today because of GW’s support for the American empire. Finally whenever we have a republican in the white house, the federal budget takes a beating. Please don’t forget that when GW came into office the stock market was around 10000. When he left it was soon under 7000. Today after 8 years of a good democrat, the stock market is close to 18000. Should the Donald become president, I have no doubt that the stock market would soon be under 7000 again≥. If you think our military is so weak, I suggest you talk to the relatives of Bin Laden. Just remember it was GW who said he would not rest until Bin Laden was gotten dead or alive, then 6 months later couldn’t be bothered. It took a democrat to fulfill a republican promise. Again!

      • Boots I have never met you, but I can spell a baloney, and your response is full of it.
        First of all, our Muslim President Barack Hussien Obama is considered by many pro-lifers as the “Abortion President.” He has signed many pro-abortion bill to fund the holocust of murdering the unborn. He rejected one woman request to stop all failed abortion. Meaning if after going through an abortion procedure and the unborn is not dead, make an attempt to save the unborn. Obama refuse to sign such a bill. The God of the Bible, the same God who formed every human being in their mother’s womb to CHOOSE LIFE. Luckily your mother, boots, was not on the side of the prochoice.
        On marriage, God performed the first marriage to the first man on earth and the first female on earth and called it a “covenant of marriage.” To call it equality in marriage is a blasphermy against God almighty. Homosexual or perversion marriage is a blasphermy against God Almighty.
        In Romans chapter one, shows the God’s wrath on the sin of homosexuality. But Barack Obama in answering a Christian college student question on Romans 1, Obama called it a “vague chapter.”
        There is also weblink on seven reasons why Barack Hussien Obama is NOT a Christian.
        About our Military and the Democrats: When Jimmy Carter was President, He cut the military badly. He even wanted to withdraw all U.S. Troops from South Korea leaving the country vulnarable to a military attack by North Korea. He even fired a U.S. Army General in South Korea for critizing Him. Liberal Jimmy Carter shut the production of the B52 bomber resultig of the laying off over 2,000 workers.
        Along came Republican Ronald Reagan who wallop Jimmy Carter in a landslide Presidental election. The first words that came out of President Reagan mouth, “we are going to rearm.” No one messed with this President. He was definetley not apologetic. In fact he went to the Berlin wall, and said “tear down this wall.”
        When President George W. Bush left the White House, he did say the danger of withdrawing from Iraq. Obama did not listen an today we have the ISIS terror organization.
        Barack Hussien Obama’s father was a marxist so was his mentor also a marxist. During his tenure Obama has supported the Muslims than he does Christians. He has demonstrated that He belongs to the Muslim faith and not Christianity. During his tenure he is careful not to offend the Muslim who he calls a peaceful religion. He says nothing about Christianity, He got rid of Tje National Day of Prayer in the month if May.

        • You Are really out to Lunch. Lets take Reagan. You realize that today’s republicans would never pick him? This is because he violated the prime republican directive of not increasing taxes plus he would talk with democrats. Yes Reagan gave us the B-1 bomber, an obsolete plane. Yes Reagan walloped Carter but the budget deficit soon increased significantly where Ron Paul eventually said: “How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together?” And so it had. Starting with a debt of $1 trillion, in eight years Reagan raised it to $2.8 trillion. Love those republicans.

          Hate to tell you this but I give zero credibility so so called pro lifers who generally believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth. It would be nice that if you are truly interested in life, you would be interested in all life.

    • CNN Dec 2014….Only 15% of active-duty troops approve of Obama’s job as commander-in-chief, according to a Military Times survey.
      That’s an all-time low for Obama, who ended 2009 with a 35% approval rating.
      Wonder what’s now…single digits IMHO.

  • See I you told you! This guy cannot admit to his own mistakes .
    Who is he gonna Blame now? He can’t blame GW. Because he “Inherited it”? Oh Puleeeeze. This is Barry’s show! He said he could fix it back then,so? fix it! And Hell No can he blame his own Generals.they warned him……This is all yours bro.

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