Speaking today to the House Armed Services Committee, Admiral Michael Mullen warned that President Obama’s announced drawdown from Afghanistan was “more risky” than he was prepared to accept and that the safer choice would always be to keep more troops in the nation.
The announced withdrawal was actually comparatively minor, with the “33,000” troop figure mostly backloaded into the summer of 2012, and only a few thousand troops likely to leave immediately.
Still, Mullen insisted this was “more aggressive” than what he wanted, and that it is more than what he personally recommended. General David Petraeus also said his recommendation was much slower than what the president decided on. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the military commanders’ comments were “understandable.”
At the end of the day, however, the military leadership’s battle to keep massive number of troops in the nation will continue, and the slow rate of the president’s drawdown plan is going to provide plenty of opportunities for them to derail the process, either with claims of “progress” that must be defended or “setbacks” that must be reversed.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Saudis Demolish Historic Shi'ite Neighborhood, Sparking Unrest - June 27th, 2017
- Turkey, Kurdish Forces Trade Fire in North Syria's Afrin District - June 27th, 2017
- Mattis: US Will Keep Arming Syrian Kurds After Raqqa Falls - June 27th, 2017
- Russia: US Warning to Syria Is Unacceptable - June 27th, 2017
- Saudi Arabia Insists Qatar Demands Are 'Non-Negotiable' - June 27th, 2017