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Petraeus disagrees with Obama's troop drawdown plan

Petraeus disagrees with Obama's troop drawdown plan

Jun 24, 2011 - 17:14

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The outgoing US and NATOinfo-icon top commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon, Gen. David Petraeus, said Thursday he disagreed with President Barack Obama’s decision for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

Petraeus, ruling out resigning in protest, told senators it was his duty to carry out the decision, but he favoured a more modest timeline for the withdrawal.

Asked by Senator Carl Levin if he was prepared to resign over war policy, Petraeus said: “I don’t think it’s the place for the commander to consider that kind of step unless you are in a very, very dire situation.” Petraeus indicated that he had received emails suggesting he should quit in protest.

“I’ve had people email and say that.” But Petraeus, his voice rising, said: “I feel actually quite strongly about this. Our troopers don’t get to quit. And I don’t think commanders should contemplate that as any kind of idle action.”

 “The ultimate decision was a more aggressive formulation in terms of the timeline than what we had recommended,” Petraeus told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Petraeus spoke a day after Obama announced plans to withdraw 33,000 surge troops by the end of September 2012, with the first 10,000 due to depart this year.

He acknowledged that he had wanted the bulk of the surge force in place through next summer’s fighting season but said the military would do its utmost to carry out the decision.

“I provided assessments of risk, I provided recommendations, we discussed all of this, again, at considerable length,” the general said.

PAN Monitor/ma

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