U.S. will keep troops in Afghanistan past 2016
By Elizabeth Casella
On Oct. 15, President Obama announced from the White House that the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan would be halted. His plan is to keep 5,500 troops on the ground within the country. The endless war notion that many feel, describes the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is something the president does not support. The reason for troops to stay in Afghanistan is to show continual support to their country to support national security interest and terrorist attack prevention within the nation.
“This modest but meaningful extension of our presence — while sticking to our current, narrow missions — can make a real difference. It’s the right thing to do,” said President Obama in a press conference.
The current 9,900 U.S. troops that are on the ground in Afghanistan will remain there until 2017; troops will then be drawn down to 5,500 with no clear indication on how long this smaller faction will stay. This decision was made due to recent attacks by the Taliban forces and ISIS advances within the country attacking key cities in the north of the country.
“I feel that troops in Afghanistan need to be removed. We have spent enough money within the nation on their military and government. We need to leave and let their nation support itself because it is absorbing resources we could be using elsewhere. I don’t doubt the presidents reasons for his actions I just don’t agree with them,” said Schoolcraft student Joe Abraham.
In 2011, Obama’s plan was to withdraw all troops from the nation by the end of this year or earlier. With the rise of the Islamic state within the region and specifically within Afghanistan and near Syria the decision to slow down the removing of troops was made. This was in an effort to fight ISIS as well as offer continual protection the country.
“I do not support the idea of endless war, and I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests,” Obama said. But, he added, “The bottom line is, in key areas of the country, the security situation is still very fragile, and in some places there is risk of deterioration.”
Plans are being made within the White House to additionally send troops into Syria as well to combat ISIS from two areas. This means that Obama will leave office in 2017 with troops in both Syria and Afghanistan instead of the removal of all troops which was promised at the beginning of his term in 2008. There has been much debate among top advisors in the White House over these decisions, but has been backed by Congress approval for these actions.
“I feel that the situation is not ideal, but Syria needs to be dealt with right now. So I think it is the best move,” said Schoolcraft Student Mitchell Sumner.
Troops will have continual involvement in training Afghanistan forces as well as assisting them on the ground. The U.S. will also continue drone strikes to help fight ISIS and the Taliban forces within the region. Maintaining the regions security and the country’s political advancement is another top priority of troops and resources remaining in the nation. Until the nation is fully able to protect their citizens the mission of the U.S. is not completed.