The very public announcement of U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 by President Barack Obama has rankled many Washington lawmakers. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) called it a “big mistake." On Tuesday, the president said that the U.S. military will leave 9,800 troops behind.
Remarkably to many critics, Obama didn’t leave it there. As shocking as that piece of information helped America’s enemies, he also stated "most troops would be out of Afghanistan by 2016."
An obviously angered King said, "That just gives the enemy the opportunity to plan their strategy.” He was appearing on CNN's "Out Front with Erin Burnett." Three other Republican senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire concurred that the decision was irresponsible and a "triumph of politics over strategy."
In their joint communique they said, "The president came into office wanting to end the wars he inherited. But wars do not end just because politicians say so. The president appears to have learned nothing from the damage done by his previous withdrawal announcements in Afghanistan and his disastrous decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq."
Obama called the questionable move a way to "preserve momentum on the battlefield and create conditions for a negotiated end to the conflict.” Rep. King vigorously disagreed saying the amount of troops left in Afghanistan is insufficient to carry out intelligence operations outside of Bagram Air Base and the capital, Kabul.
It is reminiscent of the chaotic evacuation of American personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon back in 1975. The U.S. had only a few thousand troops left in the country when it was overrun by North Vietnamese Communists regulars and the Viet Cong.
The United States went to war with al-Qaida in Afghanistan largely due to the 9/11 attacks. Making such an announcement public knowledge, as the U.S. enters fragile negotiations to remain a relevant force for years to come, is “provocative” at best.
Britt Hume of Fox News said on “Special Report” it was clearly a move to appease his left-wing base. "Why would you need to let the enemy know that you're going to be leaving, or how much of your force that you're going to draw down? Strategically it makes no sense. Tactically it makes no sense."
Last weekend began with the incredulous announcement that through the ineptness of the White House, the name of the CIA's top spy in Afghanistan was accidentally divulged to around 6,000 media news people.
Who is behind this bungling of foreign policy? Is it Obama’s top political adviser Valarie Jarrett or maybe former campaign chairman David Axelrod? Are the president’s sagging poll numbers responsible for risking the lives of uncountable American lives to please his base? He is surely not accepting advice from a besieged Secretary of State John Kerry or his doormat Republican Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in his position for token GOP representation.
A noticeably riled Peter King told CNN, the uncovering of the CIA operative was "an unpardonable error." After over five years of on-the-job training, isn’t it expected the White House can find adults to oversee these important affairs?
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