Tuesday, May 27, 2014

White House to Extend Imperialist Occupation of Afghanistan For At Least Another Year
President Obama as an imperialist functionary.
By Karen DeYoung
Tuesday, May 27, 11:36 AM
Washington Post

President Obama has decided to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for one year beyond the withdrawal of combat forces in December, according to a senior administration official.

The troops will include both forces to train and advise Afghanistan’s military and a separate group of Special Operations forces to continue counterterrorism missions against what the official called “the remnants of al-Qaeda.”

The decision, to be announced Tuesday afternoon, is contingent upon whether Afghanistan’s new president signs a bilateral security agreement that current President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign. The two candidates in a runoff election scheduled for June 14 have both said they will sign the accord.

The 9,800 troops will be based around Afghanistan until the end of 2015, after which they will be reduced by roughly half and consolidated in Kabul and at the Bagram airfield north of the capital.

At the end of 2016, most of those remaining troops will be withdrawn and the U.S. military presence will be confined to a defense group at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement.

The decision is close to the recommendation of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., the commander of U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan, who had asked for 10,000-12,000 troops.

Some of Obama’s national security advisers had proposed eliminating a residual U.S. force altogether when the final combat troops are withdrawn. NATO members who have agreed to leave military trainers in Afghanistan had said they would not do so without a U.S. presence.

The United States currently has approximately 32,800 troops in Afghanistan.

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