May 28, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined a plan to withdraw
all but 9,800 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year
and pull out the rest by the end of 2016, ending more than a decade of
military engagement triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United
The decision means that Obama will leave office in early 2017 having
extricated the country from the longest war in U.S. history. He ended
Washington’s combat presence in Iraq in 2011.
Obama’s White House Rose Garden announcement prompted criticism from
Republicans that the hard-fought gains made against the Taliban could be
lost in much the same way that sectarian violence returned to Iraq
after the U.S. withdrawal.
Obama, who made a whirlwind visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan over
the weekend before American combat operations conclude at the end of
2014, appeared to anticipate concerns that he is abandoning Afghanistan.
He said it is time for Afghans to secure their country.
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