Today's Question: What do you think of the timetable for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Monday, December 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 9:19 a.m. CST, Monday, December 7, 2009

With much of the attention focused on President Obama’s plan to send an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan, there’s also the matter of when those troops will be able to come home.

In the same speech in which he announced the troop buildup last Tuesday, Obama also said that U.S. forces would begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in July 2011.

Since that time, members of the president’s defense team have made it clear that only a handful of U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by that date, and that the plan is less an exit strategy than a gradual transition.

“2011 is not a cliff, it’s a ramp,” said Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser. “And it’s when the effects of this increase will be, by all accounts, according to our military commanders and our senior civilians, where we will be able to see very, very visible progress and we’ll be able to make a shift.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that American troops could have a significant role in Afghanistan for another two to four years. He said further departures would come only when American commanders on the ground assessed that local conditions had sufficiently improved.

The withdrawal date, Gates and others have said, was meant to signal to Afghanistan and others that America’s commitment was not open-ended. The U.S. has been fighting in the country for eight years

Some Republicans have been critical of the specific withdrawal date, saying it will encourage Taliban and al-Qaida forces to outwait the U.S.

What do you think of the timetable for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan?

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Ray Shapiro December 7, 2009 | 4:27 p.m.

My question would be, "What is the United Nation's strategy in protecting sovereign nations from organized, well funded Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda?"
What really matters is what are our enemies doing as we disclose intentions, rhetoric, plans, benchmarks and then proceed to take action and actually implement.
I've heard Obama say that we don't seek out resources until we have a strategy. (Perhaps it's in America's best interest not to disclose too much of our strategy.)
Most wars are won with covert and back door activities in conjuction with overt military action.
Timetables are nothing more then another message to the listeners.
When it comes to this nation's security, some things are best kept secret.
The game's afoot.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.