Agence France-Presse & Council for a Livable World – 2012-11-29 16:14:44
US to Leave 10,000 Troops in Afghanistan Past 2014
France24 News Wires
(November 26, 2012) — Some 10,000 US troops will remain in Afghanistan after NATO combat operations end at the end of 2014, US media reports said Sunday. The plan is in line with recommendations from General John Allen, commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
The administration of President Barack Obama aims to keep around 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan after formal combat operations in that country end in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday.
Citing unnamed senior US officials, the newspaper said the plan was in line with recommendations presented by General John Allen, commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, who has proposed a force between 6,000 and 15,000 US troops.
This force will conduct training and counterterrorism operations after the NATO mission in Afghanistan formally concludes at the end of 2014, the report said.
About 67,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan alongside 37,000 coalition troops and 337,000 local soldiers and police that make up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The United States and Afghanistan launched crucial talks on November 15 on the status of US forces remaining in Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal of combat troops in 2014.
The US has stressed that it is not seeking permanent bases in Afghanistan. It is also considered likely to shy away from a security guarantee, which would require it to come to the nation’s assistance against aggressors.
That, however, is seen as one of the targets of Afghan negotiators.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to be willing to accept a US troop presence post-2014 as long as his key demands are met.
According to the Journal, his main request is that American forces come under the jurisdiction of Afghan courts.
However, the paper said, some defense analysts outside of the US government believe that the training and counterterrorism mission would require a much larger US presence — perhaps as many as 30,000 troops.
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ACTION ALERT: Let’s Finally End the War in Afghanistan
John Isaacs & Guy Stevens / Council for a Livable World
(November 29, 2012) — Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has offered amendment No. 3096 to the defense authorization bill on the Senate floor to urge an accelerated withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
Remarkably, there are still right-wing hawks in the Senate who oppose this amendment and want to extend the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
The Senate could vote in the next two days.
Please call your senators now and tell them to vote YES on Sen. Merkleyâ€™s amendment to accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
After 11 years, more than $500 billion and too many casualties, it is time to end the war.
The New York Times reported this week that the General in charge of the Afghanistan campaign, General John Allen, wants to keep more than 60,000 troops in Afghanistan for another year. This plan is inconsistent with President Obamaâ€™s promise to continue withdrawal at a steady pace, and would only cost more lives on all sides.
There will be pressure on President Obama to give the Pentagon whatever it wants. We need to push back and show that the American people and our representatives in Congress want this war over as soon as possible.
Thank you for your help with this effort.
Rebecca Griffin / Peace Action West
Today, for the first time, the Senate took a roll call vote in favor of bringing our troops home from Afghanistan.
This morning, Senator Merkleyâ€™s amendment to bring our troops home from Afghanistan passed in an overwhelming 62-33 vote! THANK YOU to all of you who have helped make this happen.
This is the culmination of years of work to build congressional support for a quicker end to the war, and it’s the first successful vote of its kind in either the House or the Senate.
Getting the Senate on record for ending the war is crucial right now. The Obama administration is beginning negotiations on a deal with the Afghan government that will determine the long-term troop presence there. Obstinate hawks and people in the Pentagon are pushing for drawing the war out as long as possible. This vote further marginalizes those staunch war supporters and gives momentum to those of us who want this war to end as soon as possible.
Working to end the war has been a long and difficult effort, but days like today remind me that we are making a real difference. Thank you for being a part of this victory.
P.S. You can thank Sen. Merkley for his leadership by posting a note on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jeffmerkley
Rebecca Griffin is Political Director of Peace Action West