President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a plan that would have 30,000 troops pulled out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012, troubling military leaders who feel that the withdrawals will occur the wrong times.
With two stages, the plan will first extract 10,000 soldiers by December 2011 and then 20,000 more by September 2012. Although military maestros feel American troops can handle the coming winter fighting because the season naturally prevent insurgents from transporting weapons and personnel, a September deadline is unwise according to General Barno, now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a policy research center.
“Putting a September 2012 expiration tag on the rest of the surge raises real concerns,” said Barno. “That’s the middle of the fighting season.”
Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, another policy research center, said that the president’s timing “will require troops to spend most of the summer on the downsizing effort when they arguably should spend most of the summer fighting and taking away safe havens from extremists,” even though the American military presence after withdrawals will be a significant 68,000 troops.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, envisioned a slower removal, with American and allies ending fighting when they’ve secured victories.