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What does Obama mean, if anything?

 
 
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2009 08:54 am
Has anyone any idea of what the President means when he tells us that he is going to begin the "draw down" in Afganistan in 18 months? But that this will be "conditions based"?

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he's "unambiguous" about starting to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan in July 2011, saying the date "will signal a shift in our mission" to a support role for Afghan security forces.
"It's very important to understand that we're not going to see some sharp cliff, some precipitous drawdown," Obama said at a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in Oslo. "The pace at which that takes place, the slope of a drawdown, how it occurs tactically, those are all going to be conditions-based."
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Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2009 09:11 am
@kennethamy,
He'd like to get to a stage where the Afghans can police the situation themselves shortly after July 2011, exactly how shortly after depends on circumstances.

Easy!
Kroni
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2009 09:14 am
@kennethamy,
I was expecting a more heated discussion when I saw the O word. But yeah, they're making plans to stabilize Iraq so they can get out. Right now if they left it would be like pulling the bottom card from under a card house.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2009 09:15 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen;109811 wrote:
He'd like to get to a stage where the Afghans can police the situation themselves shortly after July 2011, exactly how shortly after depends on circumstances.

Easy!


What happens if "conditions on the ground" don't match up? And when he begins the withdrawal, what will that mean. 11 soldiers? In other words, the "firm commitment" looks a little flabby. It is no more than a statement of intention-if that.
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Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Dec, 2009 09:15 am
@Kroni,
Kroni;109812 wrote:
But yeah, they're making plans to stabilize Iraq so they can get out.

Afghanistan.

In this case.


kennethamy;109813 wrote:
What happens if "conditions on the ground" don't match up?

I imagine new plans will have to be tabled - or the Afghans dropped back into chaos and corruption.

Quote:
And when he begins the withdrawal, what will that mean. 11 soldiers?

Sure - he could withdraw 1 and still keep his word.

Obviously he doesn't feel in position to predict the sate of the country in July 2011 - but wants to begin the withdrawal then and hopes the Afghans will be in a position to facilitate that.

Quote:
In other words, the "firm commitment" looks a little flabby. It is no more than a statement of intention-if that.

Yup - standard politico stuff really. A little more sensible than most. He's probably thinking of predecessors who stated "mission accomplished" whilst the hard slog was still ahead.

That sort of thing.
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jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 05:08 am
@kennethamy,
If I want to discuss politics, I will join a politics forum

/end subscription
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 07:40 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;110092 wrote:
If I want to discuss politics, I will join a politics forum

/end subscription


But isn't it appropriate to do so on this particular forum on the news?
Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Dec, 2009 08:54 am
@kennethamy,
I saw an interview of General McChrystal. I was impressed by him. He said the goal of the 18 month mission is to make it clear to the Afghans that they can settle down and start farming, making small businesses, and governing themselves. He's known for saying that the Afghan society is broken. The mission is to unbreak it. On the one hand, global stability is at stake since the region is understood to be a terrorist epicenter. More abstractly, the region is owed something by the rest of the world for it's past role in breaking the Afghan society in the first place.
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