Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Senate Votes for Accelerated Drawdown
The U.S Senate approved a non-binding resolution calling for an accelerated transition to local security forces Afghanistan, withdrawing U.S combat forces earlier than the planned 2014 deadline. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said ongoing counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan will require an “enduring presence” post-2014.
The Outpost: No Strategic Purpose for U.S. Efforts in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski
The story of Combat Outpost Keating is perhaps one of the most tragic of the Afghanistan war. The U.S. camp was located in a remote area of Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, at the base of three mountains – a nearly indefensible position – defend the position, at great expense by U.S. forces, for over three years.
Majority in U.S. Senate Support Accelerated Afghanistan Transition Pace
Defense News by John Bennett
In a bipartisan vote of 62-33, the upper chamber approved what’s called a “sense of Congress” measure offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., that formally stamps Senate approval on an “accelerated transition of United States combat and military and security operations to the government of Afghanistan,” according to a Senate summary of the provision.
Panetta: Post-2014 Afghan Effort To Be Substantial
The U.S. intends to wage a counterterrorism campaign inside Afghanistan even after the main U.S. combat force leaves in 2014 in order to prevent al-Qaida from fulfilling its ambition to re-establish a sanctuary there, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday.
New commander faces challenge of winding down Afghanistan war
Reuters by David Alexander
Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, who takes over as head of international forces in Afghanistan next year, faces the challenge of winding down a war in a country where he has little experience using a strategy he did not devise.
Differing Afghan, U.S. priorities could sabotage proposed security agreement
Washington Post by Pamela Constable and Craig Whitlock
When the two sides meet again this month for more substantive discussions, each will begin to lay out a competing set of military concerns, political constraints and legal priorities that could severely test their fledgling postwar partnership, possibly to the point of failure.
How to fight in Afghanistan with fewer U.S. troops
Washington Post by David Barno and Matthew Irvine
Protecting these [vital national security] interests after 2014 will require the United States to be able to launch precision military strikes from this region. But it will not require tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
The Pace of Leaving Afghanistan
New York Times Editorial
[The drawdown] should start now and should not take more than a year. We strongly supported the war in Afghanistan following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but after more than a decade of fighting and a cost upward of $500 billion it is time for a safe and orderly departure.