troop withdrawal

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Getting Out of Afghanistan Will Cost Us Billions

Thanks to geography, it's an 'order of magnitude' harder than Iraq

(Newser) - Fighting a war isn't cheap, and in Afghanistan's case, neither is ending one. The US is set to get everyone out by 2014, but getting everything out will cost billions, says Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. "Combat is still going on. Terrible terrain. Narrow roads. Long way...

What's the US to Do After Exiting Iraq? Stay in Kuwait

13.5K soldiers will help secure the region: report

(Newser) - The US has no combat force in Iraq and a wary eye on Iran: What's a nervous country to do? Maintain a force in neighboring Kuwait, apparently. The AP obtained an advance copy of a congressional report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, set to be released today, that...

US Support for Afghan War Plummets
 US Support for 
 Afghan War Plummets 
all-time low

US Support for Afghan War Plummets

69% say US shouldn't be there

(Newser) - American support for the war in Afghanistan has reached an all-time low, according to the latest New York Times / CBS poll. Some 69% of those polled believe the US shouldn't be fighting in Afghanistan, up from 53% just four months ago. Support has plunged among both Democrats and...

Sarkozy Wants Out of Afghanistan Next Year

France will withdraw combat troops by the end of 2013

(Newser) - France and Afghanistan agree NATO should speed up by a year its timetable for handing all combat operations to Afghan forces in 2013, President Nicolas Sarkozy said today, raising new questions about the unity of the Western military alliance. Sarkozy also announced that all French combat troops will leave the...

Iraq Detaining US Contractors
 Iraq Detaining US Contractors 

Iraq Detaining US Contractors

Country is flexing muscles after troop withdrawal: NYT

(Newser) - Many foreign contractors—possibly hundreds, and including Americans who work for the US Embassy—have been detained in Iraq in recent weeks, for periods ranging from a few hours to almost three weeks. Iraqi authorities are cracking down on these contractors in the wake of last month's American troop...

Afghan Desertion Rates Soar as US Withdraws

Officials blame poor Afghan leadership, but increase a concern

(Newser) - Desertions from the Afghan army are soaring this year, amounting to one in seven of the country's 170,000 soldiers in the first six months of 2011, and casting doubts on the government's ability to maintain its own security, reports the Washington Post . The trend—more than twice...

Adm. Mullen: For Smooth Iraq Withdrawal, 'Now Is the Time'

Further delay of Iraq government's decision could jeopardize smooth transition

(Newser) - Iraq's indecision on whether to ask American forces to stay beyond the end of the year is pushing the US close to the point where a smooth, safe troop withdrawal will be jeopardized, the top US military officer said today upon arriving in the country. Adm. Mike Mullen said...

US Bars Audit of Vast Mercenary Army in Iraq

State Department will have 5,000 private contractors

(Newser) - The US is laying the groundwork for what amounts to a mercenary army in Iraq of unprecedented size—but the State Department is withholding information about it from a top watchdog, Wired reports. “Our audit of the program is making no progress,” says Stuart Bowen, the special inspector...

In Afghanistan, US Troops Begin to Withdraw

The first of them left this week

(Newser) - President Obama's troop drawdown has begun: About 650 troops left after their rotations ended Wednesday, and they will not be replaced. "As part of the drawdown the first US troops have left Afghanistan," says a military spokesperson. About a third of the 100,000 US forces in...

US Shuts Down Afghan Student Exchange Program

Last year, half fled program for Canada

(Newser) - The State Department has suspended its student exchange program with Afghanistan as more participants started abandoning the program and fleeing to Canada instead of returning home. The Youth Exchange and Study program has brought hundreds of Afghan students to the US since 2004, but the State Department quietly put it...

US Willing to Leave 10K Troops in Iraq

But unless formal request is made, only 200 will remain in 2012

(Newser) - The deadline for the departure of most American troops from Iraq arrives at the end of this year, but the White House is prepared to keep up to 10,000 troops in place after that point. Of course, such a move would require Iraq's deeply divided government making a...

Double Blasts Kill 35 in Iraq
 Double Blasts Kill 35 in Iraq 

Double Blasts Kill 35 in Iraq

Roadside bomb follows car bomb in city north of Baghdad

(Newser) - Double blasts from a car bomb and a roadside bombing at a parking lot outside a city council building north of Baghdad killed at least 35 people today, Iraqi police and hospital officials said. The attack started when insurgents first detonated a car bomb around noon in the parking lot...

France Backs Obama's Afghan Drawdown, Plans Its Own

Sarkozy has 4,000 troops there

(Newser) - A mere 12 hours after President Obama spoke on his Afghanistan drawdown, France offered its support for the plan. It will also begin a pullout of its 4,000 troops next month, “in a proportional manner and in a timeframe similar to the pullback of the American reinforcements,”...

Once Burned, Afghans Fear Repeat of 1989

Troop withdrawal could lead to instability, some fear

(Newser) - Political leaders in Afghanistan are concerned that President Obama's decision to start withdrawing US forces could lead to a repeat of the US withdrawal in 1989, when Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence was allowed to gain major influence. "We don't want to go back 20 years when [ISI...

Obama: 'Time to Focus on Nation-Building' at Home

33K 'surge' troops will be home by next summer

(Newser) - President Obama outlined his Afghanistan strategy in a prime-time address tonight, with no late surprises on the numbers: As expected , the US will bring home 10,000 troops by the end of 2011 and rest of the "surge" force (about 23,000 troops) by the end of next summer,...

Obama to Bring Home 30K Troops by End of 2012
Obama to Bring Home 30K Troops by Fall of 2012
speech preview

Obama to Bring Home 30K Troops by Fall of 2012

That's faster than the military would like in Afghanistan

(Newser) - A few hours ahead of President Obama's prime-time address on Afghanistan, administration officials are leaking some main points to the AP , Washington Post , and the New York Times :
  • Obama will bring home 10,000 troops this year and another 20,000 or so by the end of next summer.

Pentagon: Wait Til Fall 2012 to End Afghanistan Surge

Military pushes for slow withdrawal as Obama weighs next move

(Newser) - The military has called on President Obama to keep the Afghanistan troop surge in place until the fall of next year, ensuring that many of the 33,000 extra troops remain in the country for the next two fighting seasons, when the weather is warm. The military wants to avoid...

Mess Up Afghan Exit, and Bigger War Awaits
Mess Up Afghan Exit,
and Bigger War Awaits
Henry Kissinger

Mess Up Afghan Exit, and Bigger War Awaits

This is a global problem, not just ours: Henry Kissinger

(Newser) - The eventual withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan is necessary, but it cannot be hasty or ill-planned, writes Henry Kissinger in the Washington Post . The conflict is often seen as an American one, but this is truly an international problem. A bad handoff "is a prescription for...

Pentagon Opposes Quick Afghanistan Exit

'We shouldn't let up on the gas,' Gates warns

(Newser) - The military is digging in its heels against the idea of a swift withdrawal from Afghanistan. “I think we shouldn’t let up on the gas too much, at least for the next few months,” Robert Gates told troops yesterday, as he finished his final trip to Afghanistan...

Libya: We'll Pull Army Out of Cities If...

Moammar Gadhafi’s government says forces will withdraw if rebels disarm

(Newser) - Moammar Gadhafi’s government has offered to pull its troops out of the cities it is occupying, provided the rebel opposition disarms and NATO stops bombing them. The move was suggested by Russian officials in a meeting with a Libyan delegation in Moscow, the Wall Street Journal reports. Government spokesman...

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