Bolton: Obama Wants US Out of Afghanistan, but Terrorists Remain

Image: Bolton: Obama Wants US Out of Afghanistan, but Terrorists Remain

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 09:12 PM

By Greg Richter

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President Barack Obama is using the same playbook in withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as he did in Iraq, and that's because he doesn't want any forces at all left behind, says former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton

"He didn't want to leave any troops in Iraq, and I think he doesn't want to leave any troops in Afghanistan," Bolton said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign an agreement with the United States over the number of troops to remain after a drawdown even though tribal leaders have approved it and say they want American and NATO troops to stay.

Bolton said the breakdown in talks with Karzai is contrived.

"I think if we wanted to have a deal with Iraq we could have had one. I think if we want to have a deal with Karzai we could have one," he told Van Susteren.

"I suspect the president wants out," Bolton said, "and I suspect that's what will happen by the end of the year, sadly with the same consequences in Afghanistan as we're seeing right now in Iraq."

Iraq has recently seen the al-Qaida flag raised in Fallujah and other areas now that American forces have left the country where they had defeated Saddam Hussein and helped install an elected government.

Bolton said American troops should remain in Afghanistan until the Taliban and al-Qaida are defeated there.

"That's the nature of the war on terrorism. We didn't start this war, and they don't fight it according to our rules," he said. "But if we want to be safe against terrorism, we have to be where the terrorists are."

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