TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Afghan reaction to details of U.S. troop drawdown is mixed

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
 

KABUL, Afghanistan — President Obama's decision to bring half of America's 66,000 troops home within a year was welcomed on Wednesday by Afghan officials who have long agitated to control their country, but was greeted with dismay by Afghans who think America failed to keep its promise of a better and safer life.

A troop drawdown was widely expected, but for the first time, Obama gave specific numbers. For some Afghans, Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday underscored the reality that foreign troops were indeed leaving — and sooner than expected.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai viewed the announcement as good news. He has pushed for a faster withdrawal of international troops, arguing that his country is sovereign and should control its own fate.

He persuaded NATO to agree on a 2014 deadline for the departure of foreign combat troops just over two years ago. He and Obama agreed last month for Afghan troops to take the lead for security around the country this spring — months ahead of schedule — as foreign forces take the backseat and shift to an advisory and training role.

“This is something Afghanistan has wanted for so long now,” Karzai's office said.

He applauded Obama's commitment to speed up the timetable for handing over the lead for security to Afghan forces. “The withdrawal in the spring of foreign forces from Afghan villages will definitely help in ensuring peace and full security in Afghanistan.”

Obama said the first 34,000 troops will leave Afghanistan within a year.

So far, no decision has been made about how many U.S. troops could remain in the country after December 2014 when most foreign forces will have left. Administration officials have said they are considering a residual troop presence of as few as 3,000 and as many as 15,000.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Rice says U.S. has Israel’s back, won’t accept nuclear-armed Iran
  2. Netanyahu claims moral obligation to speak
  3. Iran’s role against ISIS in Tikrit stokes U.S. unease over Tehran influence, Sunni-Shiite tensions
  4. Russia promises full probe of killing of Putin rival
  5. Venezuela calls for U.S. to slash diplomatic mission by 80 percent
  6. Boko Haram beheading video mimics Islamic State propaganda
  7. Pakistani parents jailed for refusing to vaccinate children against polio
  8. Russians pour into streets to mourn Putin’s foe Nemtsov
  9. Obama makes progress on emptying Guantanamo of detainees
  10. Shelling claims Ukrainian journalist
  11. Netanyahu arrives in U.S., signs of easing of tensions over Iran speech