Kristol: Announcement of Afghan Withdrawal Timeline 'Irresponsible'

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 09:55 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol slammed the decision by the Obama administration to announce the timeline for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, calling it "beyond irresponsible" and "crazy."

Speaking on CNN's "Crossfire" on Tuesday, Kristol said that while it's one thing to announce a reduction in the number of troops in the country, the decision to announce specific dates for when there will no longer be forces present on the ground plays into the hands of enemies and risks undermining everything the United States has achieved in the country.

"To announce ahead of time we're going to zero troops, except for the troops guarding the embassy, at the end of 2016, is beyond irresponsible. It's totally crazy. You're telling them we're getting out," Kristol said.

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"What is wrong with saying 'I'm going to make a judgment based on conditions on the ground'?" he said, suggesting an open-ended commitment would have been a more rational approach.

Kristol pointed out that the president sent tens of thousands of troops to the country, adding, "Now he is running a huge risk of undercutting all they achieved."

Senior Obama administration officials said Tuesday they will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year, and then withdraw most of those forces by 2016.


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