Analysis

Afghanistan: Obama’s New Exit Plan Jeopardizes Stability
US President Barack Obama meets with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House on January 11, 2013. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
January 14, 2013
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
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President Barack Obama’s surprise announcement that the United States will draw down its forces in Afghanistan in a matter of months — rather than in 2014 as expected — seriously jeopardizes Afghan stability. The decision, made public last Friday following a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House, imperils U.S. efforts to adequately train Afghan security forces, conduct effective counterterrorism operations and deter future Taliban attacks.

Obama announced that the United States would speed up the planned 2014 withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to Afghan forces, despite remaining Taliban strongholds across the country. Left uncertain was the number of U.S. troops that will remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
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