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Entries in Withdrawal (4)

Friday
Dec302011

Book: Petraeus Rejected Advice to Quit as NATO Commander

DoD photo by Cherie Cullen/Released(WASHINGTON) -- Former Gen. David Petraeus was reportedly not happy earlier this year when President Obama announced plans to draw down 33,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of next summer.

In fact, a new biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, claims that a conservative writer urged Petraeus to resign as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan over his opposition to the withdrawal.

It would have been a particularly controversial move on Petraeus' part since he had already accepted the job of CIA director to replace Leon Panetta, who was named the new secretary of defense.

However, author Paula Broadwell writes that the former four-star general ultimately rejected the advice of Max Boot and stayed on at his post until he became head of the spy agency, figuring that quitting would look like a "selfish, grandstanding move with huge political ramifications."

Boot had promised to run a Petraeus for President campaign, which the former general also had no stomach for.

Meanwhile, the CIA issued a statement Thursday disputing Broadwell's depiction of events, saying, "Director Petraeus has publicly stated that he never contemplated resignation."

All In: The Education of General David Petraeus will hit bookstores next month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec142011

Obama to Thank Fort Bragg Troops Ahead of Iraq Withdrawal

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will travel with the first lady to Fort Bragg Wednesday morning, where he will deliver a speech to troops and their families, thanking them for their service.

The Obamas' visit to the North Carolina military base comes as America's involvement in the near nine-year war in Iraq comes to an end later this month. Just over 5,000 U.S. troops remain there in advance of the Dec. 31 withdraw deadline, down from the peak of 170,000, during the successful "surge" in 2007.

The White House says the president, "will speak about the enormous sacrifices and achievements of the brave Americans who served in the Iraq War, and he will speak about the extraordinary milestone of bringing the war in Iraq to an end."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun212011

Obama to Lay Out Plan for Afghan Drawdown in Primetime Address

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama intends to begin a withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, and to underscore the serious of the development, the administration has announced he will make a primtime address to the nation from the White House Wednesday night.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says it will be a plan to drawdown the number of forces in Afghanistan. It's expected to be a slow process, taking a year or more.

Here is the official statement from Carney:

At 8pm EDT on Wednesday, June 22nd, the President will address the nation from the White House to lay out his plan for implementing his strategy -- first unveiled in December 2009 -- to draw down American troops from Afghanistan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun082011

Tensions Flare as Afghanistan Drawdown Nears

Charles Dharapak - Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The debate over the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, set to begin next month, is unearthing old tensions between the Pentagon and the White House that could present new political and logistical challenges for President Obama.

Soon-to-be-retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, on his final tour of the country this week, warned that it would be "premature" to make any significant changes to the military campaign in Afghanistan before the end of the year or until the United States can say that "we've turned the corner here in Afghanistan."

The White House, on the other hand, continues to argue that the cuts in the numbers of troops will be "real."

Even if the Pentagon and White House agree on the number, Gates' public dissent makes it difficult for the president to sell that number to his supporters, who are getting increasingly agitated over the growing cost of the war.

The White House says the president has yet to make a final decision on the numbers, but several reports have suggested that 5,000 combat troops may be brought home in July, with roughly an additional 5,000 by the end of the year.

There are currently about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, so the withdrawal could be less than 10 percent, a number that is already riling up Obama's liberal base.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said he wants to see 15,000 U.S. troops out by December.

This is not the first time in recent years the White House is finding itself at odds with the Pentagon over the number of troops in Afghanistan. In 2009, Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recommendation for a troop surge received a cool reception in Washington, even though the president eventually approved it, at a cost of $36 billion.

What's different now is the lack of public support for the longest war in U.S. history. A record two-thirds -- or 64 percent -- of Americans say the war in Afghanistan is no longer worth fighting, a steep rise from 44 percent in late 2009, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published in March.

Nearly 80 percent of independents said Obama should withdraw a "substantial number" of troops from Afghanistan this summer and barely more than a quarter felt the war is worth its costs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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