White House Eyes Afghan Exit by 2017

War Not Going to Last Forever, Spokesman Assures

by Jason Ditz, November 25, 2009

In an effort to reassure Americans ahead of next week’s speech in which President Obama will announce the escalation of the Afghan War, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs wants Americans to rest safe in the knowledge that the war is not going to last forever.

We are in year nine of our efforts in Afghanistan,” Gibbs noted, “we are not going to be there another eight or nine years.” This would mean that the administration is at least hoping at this point to be out of Afghanistan by 2017.

Recent polls have shown Americans increasingly opposed to not only the Afghan War, but to President Obama’s handling of it. In spite of this President Obama is expected to commit another 34,000 troops to the conflict in next week’s speech.

When the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the military presence was comparatively limited, and even in summer of 2008 only about 28,000 American soldiers were on the ground. When the latest escalation is approved the US will have over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan.

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