Obama’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Coincides with the 2012 Election

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

President Obama delivered a primetime address tonight from the White House and announced he will bring home 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and, 23,000 more by next summer. The troop withdrawal will be completed two months before voters decide whether to reelect Mr. Obama to a second term.

It’s important to remember that 18 months ago, President Obama authorized a “surge” of 30,000 U.S. combat troops. If tonight’s math holds true, the total number of troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan amounts to just 3,000 more than Obama’s 30,000 troop surge. Leaving behind a staggering 70,000 U.S. troops by the 2012 election.

Numbers like this make it difficult for me to “take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding,” as the president orated tonight without a hint of irony. Apparently, I’m not the only one dissatisfied with Mr. Obama’s announcement.

Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, called the plan a “positive development, although in my view the conditions on the ground justify an even larger drawdown of U.S. troops.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said Mr. Obama’s announcement was not what she wanted saying, “It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out and we will continue to press for a better outcome.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “Ending the surge in 2012 with a disappointing 10,000 combat troops coming home this year is not good enough. As I have advocated for months, it is time to shift course in Afghanistan to a counter-terrorism mission, with an aggressive drawdown of combat troops.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, issued a press release saying the Afghanistan war continues “with no end in sight.” Conyers said, “While I appreciate that the President has decided to bring home some troops this year, the slow speed of this withdrawal unfortunately ensures that the vast majority of our servicemen and women will be embroiled in an unaffordable military quagmire for at least two more years.”

Tonight’s announcement makes it conclusive that Hawks like Gen. David H. Petraeus and outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates still hold sway over this president and not the American people.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, two-thirds of Americans now say the Afghanistan war — now in its eleventh year, was not been worth fighting.

The war effort costs the United States about $10 billion a month.

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15 Responses to Obama’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Coincides with the 2012 Election

  1. Seabec says:

    I wondered how long it would take for you to have something up.

    I agree, the timing is suspect and the number hardly amounts to a hill of beans if 70,000 troops will still remain in Afghanistan for no good reason. Obama loves to take credit for killing Osama bin Laden but he forgets ever so conveniently that Osama bin Laden was the reason Bush sent troops to Afghanistan in the first place. Bin Laden is dead, or so they say, so there is no reason to have any US troops in Afghanistan. Especially, when the US is bankrupt.

  2. Abbey Peripatetic says:

    My brother is in the Army and is getting deployed in June for the 3rd time. His wife is going out of her mind and no longer understands why’s serving. There is no mission purpose other than a show of force to the Afghan people who my brother says hate the US.

    This war must stop. Not 30% of it and not 50% of it. All of it. I swear, I’ve never voted for a Republican before but if one comes along who promises to end the Afghanistan war, he’s got my vote.

  3. The Real Adam says:

    Abbey – Three deployments is too many. I read accounts of disabled soldiers called back to Iraq five and six times even with serious physical and psychological damage.

    I ask, where is Code Pink? They hounded Bush for 8 years. Yet, When Obama escalated the number of troops in Afghanistan, they were MIA.

    Very strange.

  4. Jolly Roger says:

    I honestly believe we won’t leave until we collapse.

    I might be wrong-we did leave Vietnam after building a whole bunch of bases there-but I think we had smarter politicians in the Vietnam era than we have now.

  5. Sayingwhatneedsaying says:

    Obama.. you’re a slimier piece of shit than Goerge W. Bush was……….

  6. Sayingwhatneedsaying says:

    Obama is just the latest in a long line of lying mother-fuckers…………

  7. libhomo says:

    Some withdrawal. Most of the troops will remain there.

  8. Woodcliffe says:

    How can you call this this a “withdrawal” when 70,000 troops are left behind? Does Obama think the American public is stupid? We’re not stupid and the slow pace if withdrawal coupled with his failure to create jobs is what will spell his political demise in 2012. I’ve seen this before. Jimmy Carter was an ineffectual president who appeared unable to handle the complexities of the job. Reagan made roadkill of him in 1980.

  9. feminazi says:

    With the discovery of trillions of dollars worth of minerals in Afghanistan, I don’t think the U.S. will ever really leave Afghanistan. The country is now too valuable. We will have a troops presence there, a la, South Korea until the U.S. ceases to exist as a country, which could come very soon at our present rate of debt and decline.

  10. Brigadoon says:

    Obama quickly added troops early in his term so he can draw them down while campaigning for another term and look like a war hero. He’s playing politics with an 11 year war. No one, except the New York Times is buying it. Obama must go, We gave him a chance in 2008 and he blew it. Next?

  11. Herminio Sanchez says:

    92% of our troops didn’t vote for Obama. In 2012, that number should reach 100%.

  12. Brigadoon,

    Ka-Cing! I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Barry knew exactly what he was doing when he “surged” Afghanistan troop levels by 30,000. He knew he could give the order to withdraw them in the months leading up to the 2012 election, a move that would hopefully help him in the polls with war-weary voters tied of America’s longest conflict.

    Obama is a slippery, cynical devil.

  13. Marcus Ybanez says:

    I didn’t watch Obama’s address. He makes me crawl whenever I see him.

    In less than 3 years in office and I have the same reaction to Obama I once had to George W. Bush anytime he was on TV lying about something. Obama’s pretty speeches have become pretty boring.

  14. Estacada says:

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Obama’s playing the public for fools and using the troops as tools. Can’t wait to vote him out of office in 16 months.

  15. FDRWeeps says:

    It’s extraordinary that prominent members of his own party want a quicker and larger withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and they’re speaking out. Obama stopped listening the day after he was sworn in back on January 20, 2009 and this will be his downfall.

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