Obama Considers Full Withdrawl of U.S. Troops in Time for 2014 Election
The timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan is being sped up, and the withdrawal that originally planned to begin in February 2014 and end at the end of the year may now be structured so that it is completed in the summer of 2014. That would mean it would happen in time for the 2014 elections.
As the New York Times reports, the possible shift is being blamed on growing tension between Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai has accused the Obama administration of brokering separate deals with Pakistan and the Taliban--deals that isolate the Afghanistan government and leave it to fall once the U.S. departs. He made these claims directly to Obama, not an administration representative.
The comments were not well-received by Obama. And now the administration says it may not only speed the withdrawal up so that all troops are home by end of summer 2014, but may also go with a "zero option"--which means the U.S. would forego leaving behind the small contingent of troops originally designed to remain in Afghanistan after the majority of troops were pulled out.
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