U.S. General says Presence in Afghanistan Must Be Huge Past 2014 – More War

By on February 19, 2013

by Ezra Van Auken

During last week’s Senate confirmation hearing for the next leader of Central Command (CENTCOM), Gen. Lloyd Austin gave Senators some Afghanistan rhetoric in terms of withdrawal plans. Reuters reported, “The U.S. general nominated to oversee a vast region that includes Afghanistan on Thursday backed keeping Afghan forces at a peak strength of 352,000, contrary to current plans to shrink them after NATO declares the war over next year.

Gen. Austin is not alone when it comes to supporting Afghanistan’s extended stay, which at this point seems inevitable. At the Senate confirmation, Austin explained, “Keeping the larger-size force would certainly reassure the Afghans, it would also reassure our NATO allies that we remain committed;” at the same time, many Americans wonder how after more than a decade-long occupation, it’s still not time to bring home U.S. forces. Before Austin made these remarks, President Obama declared 34,000 would leave Afghanistan by early 2014.

Keeping a strong military presence in Afghanistan and training Afghan forces will allow the nation’s military to “hedge against any Taliban mischief,” Gen. Austin pointed out. Options for post-2014 still seem to be up in the air, especially since President Obama left unanswered questions while speaking at his State of the Union – such as the exit phase in Afghanistan along with how many troops will remain in the region.

You could reasonably expect that an enemy that’s been that determined, that agile, will very soon after we transition begin to try to test the Afghan security forces.” Although from the looks of it, Afghan forces have been tested quite a bit. 2012 in contrast to 2011 saw more insider or “green-on-blue” attacks. Just before the 2012-year ended, seventeen Afghan security personnel were killed in ten days due to green-on-blue attacks, which came during the night.

The newly appointed Gen. Austin has newly appointed Afghanistan commander General Joe Dunford by his side. Gen. Dunford said in November, “We’ll be there beyond 2014 to secure our objectives,” looking to keep the everlasting war ongoing.

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  1. Lee

    February 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Between him and Obama you got two peas in a pod, Afircan Americans having long claimed Obama a disapointment. Unfortunately it seems like they couldn’t do any better to make a stereo classic example of themselves. They amount to turn 18Th century African tribal leaders who sold their own into slavery with the whiteman.

    Something is straight out of line with the ediquet.

  2. Lee

    February 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    On further second it’s like they could not build up the side in Afghanistan like Al Quieda was backed and built up to remove the USSR that whereas that could this couldn’t be done the same way “no it has to be huge this time around”.

    The US has enough intelligence to keep an eye fixed on the scene without need for unessary massive build up of US Armed forces. Let alone their is no business warranted with pursuing Mali.
    I won’t disrespect the General however I do disagree and like to point out.

  3. Lee

    February 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    For cat of nine tailing 99 strokes or whatever it was to the back of a 19 year old Afghan female cause she was seen walking with a man not in her family the side that is side should be organized minus massive build up of forces through intelligence together with the determination to get a lid down on alledged violators. Two sides of a coin if’ it Is.

    It does not have to or need to be massive anymore than it was to build the al quieda up against the USSR.

    GET SMART, MAX SMART. Literally. Know who you are.

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