As President Obama addressed the nation regarding his “drawdown,” media outlets are abuzz, seeing the announcement as the biggest change since the December 2009 escalation announcement.
On the ground in Afghanistan, however, it doesn’t seem like a drawdown, and the troops aren’t expecting any major change. Rather, they are expecting long deployings and a long occupation in an already decade-old war.
This speaks both to the Pentagon’s repeated calls for US troops to remain long after 2014 and to President Obama’s own decision to announce a drawdown that sounds a lot bigger than it actually is.
Though the drawdown will nominally remove 33,000 surge troops, only between 3,000 and 5,000 troops will actually be leaving any time soon, with the rest simply “planned” drawdowns at future dates, which have historically been very unreliable.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US-Led Airstrikes Killed 472 Civilians in Syria in the Past Month - June 23rd, 2017
- US Narrows Counter-Extremism Program to Focus on Islamists - June 23rd, 2017
- Senator: US Strikes on Syrian Forces 'Unlawful' - June 23rd, 2017
- Kurds Warn Turkey's Buildup in North Syria Threatens Raqqa Invasion - June 23rd, 2017
- Senators Seek Clarification on US Role in Yemen Torture - June 23rd, 2017