US General: Slow Transition Out of Afghanistan

Insists Forces Already 'Significantly' Thinned Out

by Jason Ditz, April 28, 2011

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Major General Richard Mills cautioned against expecting any major withdrawals from Afghanistan, insisting that any moves would be a “slow transition” and that “we don’t want to attract attention” to it.

At the same time, Gen. Mills insisted that forces had already been thinned out “significantly” in some provinces, which will come as quite a surprise considering that the overall number of NATO troops in Afghanistan has not dropped.

Rather, it seems that troops are being shuffled around to different parts of the country, with insurgents shuffling away to whichever places the occupation forces are not. Mills cautioned that “if you pull out too early, there’s a risk of the insurgency returning.”

Of course the insurgency never really left, and April of 2011 is a new record for NATO deaths in the month. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed earlier this week that no recommendations have yet been made on a July drawdown, and since he and Gen. David Petraeus will both be leaving their positions at the end of June, it is highly likely that the process will be “delayed” if not dropped altogether by the Obama Administration.

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