White House says reviewing Afghan situation
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Obama Administration is reviewing the situation on the ground in Afghanistan in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's killing, the White House said Monday, but insistedtroop drawdown to begin scheduled.
“The administration is in the process of reviewing the situation in Afghanistan and the progress that we’ve made since the surge reached its full complement,” the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters at his daily news conference.
Obama will look at the recommendations from his military commanders to begin the transition in July, he said.
The Wall Street Journal reported that US military officers in Afghanistan have drawn up preliminary proposals to withdraw as many as 5,000 troops from the country in July and as many as 5,000 more by the year's end, in the first phase of a US pullout promised as by the President Barack Obama in December 2009. This proposal is subject to intense discussion in the administration and the Congress before approved by Obama.
“What has not changed at all is the fact that there will be the beginning of that transition. There will be the beginning of a drawdown of those troops,” Carney said.
“What also hasn’t changed is that the President’s decision to refocus the US government’s attention on the Af-Pak region, on the fight against al Qaeda, has produced tremendous results for national security, for American security, obviously culminating most recently in the elimination of Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer and the most wanted man in the world,” he said.
“We have, through that refocus, been able to put greater pressure on al Qaeda than ever before, reducing the ranks of its leadership and putting the squeeze on al Qaeda in a way that hadn’t been done in a long, long time, and making them weaker, which is good for the primary goal,” he said.
Obama’s AfPak strategy announced in December of ’09, was disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda. “We had an interlude for a long time between the invasion of Afghanistan and the arrival of this President in office where the principal focus in the national security sense of the administration was on Iraq, and not on Afghanistan and not on al Qaeda central. And the shift was important in producing not just the elimination of Osama bin Laden but a lot of other clear victories in that fight,” Carney observed.
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