Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Foreign Policy Failure Keeping U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Is Wrong

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Foreign Policy Failure Keeping U.S. Troops in Afghanistan Is Wrong

Article excerpt

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that, contrary to his previous plans, he will leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and 5,500 thereafter, through the end of his presidency.

This decision represents a failure of foreign policy. Mr. Obama can count as successes the agreement with Iran, stifling its nuclear weapons program for the removal of sanctions, and the change in U.S.- Cuba policy. However, he had also pledged to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States withdrew its forces from Iraq at the end of 2011, fulfilling the 2008 agreement President George W. Bush made. Iraq's national forces, trained and equipped by the United States, began to lose ground to enemies including the Islamic State group, and Mr. Obama sent U.S. troops back in last year.

Mr. Obama's government tried the same approach in Afghanistan. U.S. forces trained and American defense contractors armed Afghan national forces. They nonetheless lost ground steadily. …

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