The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama will announce Wednesday his decision on how many troops to withdraw from Afghanistan next month, concluding a process of consultation with his advisers and commanders that will set the military course for the rest of the war. Administration officials said that final numbers, while still to be determined, will chart the glide path for further withdrawals between now and the end of 2012, a period when Obama will face a re-election fight. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe the nearly decade-old war is no longer worth fighting.
The announcement will set a withdrawal schedule for the 33,000 "surge" troops Obama sent to Afghanistan early last year as part of an escalation that his commanders say has succeeded in clearing Taliban fighters from key areas in southern Afghanistan. That decision put Obama at odds with some civilian advisers, who favored a more focused counterterrorism effort rather than the military's expansive counterinsurgency campaign designed to stabilize the weak Afghan state.
The president will have to explain why it is necessary to keep troops in Afghanistan, particularly in a weak economy. We thought wars were supposed to boost economies, not suppress them. Since that isn't happening, we're all for finding out why we're staying over there. We find it interesting that we're concerned with stabilizing their "weak" state. How about stabilizing our "weak" economy?
Read more at the Washington Post.
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