Small Wars Journal

Obama Orders Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

Obama Orders Cuts in 'Surge' Troops in Afghanistan

Voice of America

US President Barack Obama announced he is withdrawing 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by the middle of next year. In a nationally televised address, the president said is he able to make the withdrawals because the United States and its allies are meeting their goals in Afghanistan.

He said the withdrawal will begin in July. He said that by 2014, the process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security...

CSPAN: President Obama Announces Afghanistan Troop Reduction


Text of Obama's Speech on Afghanistan - AP

Obama Orders Troop Cuts in Afghanistan - NYT

Obama: Time for 'Nation Building' at Home - WP

Obama: Time to Withdraw Troops - WT

Obama Calls for Faster Troop Cuts in Afghanistan - LAT

Obama: 30,000-plus Surge Troops Leaving Afghanistan - AP

Obama Orders Withdrawal of 33,000 Troops - BBC

Obama Sets Plan to Start US Exit From Afghanistan - Reuters

Obama Declares Beginning of End of Afghan War - AFP

Obama Details Plan to Withdraw US Troops from Afghanistan - CSM

Obama to Withdraw 33,000 Troops from Afghanistan by 2012 - DT

Obama Announces US Troop Withdrawals from Afghanistan - USAT

Beginning of the End of the Afghanistan War - CBS

Drawdown Troops, Step Up Diplomacy in Afghanistan - Bloomberg

Obama's Tough Balancing Act - WSJ

Obama to Send Surge Troops Home by Sept 2012 - Politico

Drawdown in Afghanistan will Shift Tactics in War - WP

2012 Troop Pullback Worries Military Experts - NYT

Strategy Changes will Test US Forces - WP

Troop Cuts Herald Shift in US Approach - AP

NATO Allies Have a Head Start on Afghan Withdrawal - NYT

NATO Welcomes Obama's Afghan Plan - AP

French Troops to Progressively Leave Afghanistan - AP

Germany Welcomes Obama's Afghan Plan - AP

PM Says Australian Troops to Stay in Afghanistan - AP

Is the Afghan Army Ready for US Withdrawal? - BBC

Fears Abound Over Toll on Afghan Economy - NYT

US Troop Cut May Also Bring Risky Cuts in Afghan Aid - Reuters

Karzai: Afghan Youth to Lead as US Troops Go - AP

Drawing Down, With a Vigilant Eye on Pakistan - NYT

Obama's Afghanistan Drawdown Has Bipartisan Backing - USAT

As Politics of War Shift, Risks for Obama Ease - NYT

The Way Out? - NYT editorial

Obama May be Sabotaging his Own Strategy - WP editorial

Withdrawals Don't Solve Weaknesses Afghan Strategy - BG editorial

US Troop Drawdown and the Future of the Mission - Brookings opinion

Political Calculation Rather than Military Judgment - DT opinion

Strategic Drawdown or Rush for the Door? - TG opinion

Obama: The Postwar Era Begins Now - WP opinion

A Pivot Point in Afghanistan - LAT opinion

The Real Question: How to Achieve Afghanization - CNN opinion

Decisiveness in Obama's Afghanistan Speech - WP opinion


G Martin

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 12:30pm

Charles- I think you're out of touch with the majority of Americans. The politicians are following what the populace has approved of for some time: get out of Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with $, it has to do with no-one linking our national interests to spending money there- any money- and having troops dying there- any troops.

As for service members out of a job- that isn't a good reason to keep a war going or keep force levels high. Like it or not, being the world's policeman will bankrupt us. And, increasingly the rest of the world will get more out of ensuring economic lanes are kept open and thus start to carry more of the burden- unless we keep doing it all ourselves.

Just think, we could have left Afghanistan after the Taliban were toppled- and saved the Army from being "almost broke" as several leaders have echoed for years now, saved lots of $, and saved lives. If the Taliban and AQ had come back- then we could have gone in again and only spent a fraction of the price in resources as we've spent staying there- and we'd still be at about the same place we are now...

Instead- as it is- we've probably built up too much political unwillingness to ever go back. I think this "let's stay until we're done" attitude has gutted our credibility with the people. In the next 20 years if we advocate a "COIN" effort I bet we'll get a visceral reaction- no matter the party in power...


Thu, 06/23/2011 - 11:51am

I think this plan will end with poor consequences. Those consequences will probably be five years down the road, but that means our current politicians are largely out of focus by then. It seems to be timed only for re-election purposes. Thing is, any cost savings will not be realized before the election so I don't see how it'll produce tangible benefits for the President, in that regard.

Finally, my biggest worry is that our government continues to preach more spending and the military seems to be on the chopping block so the deficit really isn't likely to be controlled. But as we reduce our footprint around the world we may suffer a bit because of that, insofar as regional idiots in Iran and North Korea start to cause trouble with relative impunity. Then as the military footprint is reduced, drastic reductions in troop strength are going to be posited as further budget cures. So, we'll end up with a ton of service members out of the service, with no job, in a porous economy. To me that spells disaster and certainly no improvement over what we currently see.

G Martin

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 11:42am

Not sure the military isn't ready, able, and willing to fight like that as much as our population simply doesn't see any national interests in us fighting at all.

If AQ totally disappeared from Pakistan and Afghanistan I bet you'd still have folks saying "well, if the Taliban take control... 9/11!!!" Fortunately, our population isn't buying it.

john (not verified)

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 8:30am

Unless we are doing this as a prepatory move to begin manever warfare, then this isn't a good idea. We have got to get away from the hurry up way of doing business. We have got to take an diffenrent approach. We have to stop thing BDE's and start thinking Squads. We have to use snipers instead of smart bombs. We are going to have to make them afraid. Afraid that an American squad is out there, watching, waiting, to get them. Until the US military is ready, able, and willing to fight like that, we will only see more of the same.

motorfirebox (not verified)

Thu, 06/23/2011 - 12:59am

It's kinda crazy how much the right and left have swapped on the whole foreign adventures thing. I'm starting to respect McCain again, though I disagree with him on this issue (as on so many others).

We're going to be pulling our military back all around the globe just about no matter what, I think. It's becoming harder and harder to justify the expenditure. If Obama continues to ignore his base, it will be a Republican doing the withdrawal, but a withdrawal is coming regardless.


Wed, 06/22/2011 - 11:53pm

Not saying it's going to happen but the numbers suggest that Pres. Obama could be in serious jeopardy of losing his re-election bid. If that happens, what next?

What if Iraq asks us to stay longer, as many think they will?