Either Way, We’re Leaving Afghanistan

The United States has met “many of the objectives” for which it went to war in Afghanistan, so there’s nothing holding up the planned withdrawal of US combat troops by the end of 2014, said President Obama in the final presidential debate with GOP challenger Mitt Romney. “We’re now in a position where we can transition out” of the country “in a responsible fashion,” said Obama during the Oct. 22 debate. He added, “There’s no reason why Americans should die when Afghans are perfectly capable of defending their own country.” The US-led coalition has “decimated al Qaeda’s core leadership” in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions and done much to build up Afghan security forces, he noted. Romney said his policy would also be “to make sure we bring our troops out by the end of 2014.” He said “the commanders and the generals there are on track to do so.” He noted the progress in the past several years, including the positive impact of the US troops surge and the “large number” of Afghan security forces trained. “We’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014,” said Romney. (Debate transcript)

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