Obama: When War in Afghanistan Is Over, We Will Fight a War in Afghanistan

February 13, 2013 - 12:41 AM

 

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Tim Sloan)

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night that he will end the war in Afghanistan by the end of next year, and that after that he will keep tens of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan to fight a war in Afghanistan.

“And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over,” said Obama.

For the period after 2014, he said, “We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”

Thus, U.S. forces left in Afghanistan after the war is “over,” will “pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”

“Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda,” said Obama. “Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead.  Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.

“Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change,” said Obama. “We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”

The GAO reported this week that there were about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as of December. If 33,000 of those troops are brought home over the next year, as President Obama said in his State of the Union, that will leave another 33,000 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan.

Those 33,000 U.S. troops Obama intends to keep in Afghanistan--as Obama described it--will pursue al Qaeda, which is what U.S. troops first went to Afghanistan to do in 2001.