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State Department official: Negotiations to extend U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan starting soon

Posted by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM
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Posted By Josh Rogin Share

Despite statements by Vice President Joe Biden, the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, a top State Department official said Tuesday.

Last week, U.S. and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul to talk about the Bilateral Security Agreement that will govern the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, when President Barack Obama said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end and the U.S. will complete the transition of the entire country to Afghan government control.

Also last week, Biden told Americans during his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.

"We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we're going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion," Biden said. "We've been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we're doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It's their responsibility, not America's."

Marc Grossman, the State Department's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, explained today that's not the whole story.

Grossman said Tuesday that the point of the upcoming negotiations is to agree on an extension of the U.S. troop presence well past 2014, for the purposes of conducting counterterrorism operations and training and advising the Afghan security forces.

In May, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement that promised an ongoing U.S. commitment to Afghanistan through 2024. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Oct. 3 that Grossman's deputy, James Warlick, will be the lead U.S. negotiator for the Bilateral Security Agreement that will follow. Karzai's Ambassador to Washington Eklil Hakimi will lead the negotiations for the Afghan side.

Grossman said that while meetings on "how we will manage our forces going forward in Afghanistan," have already taken place, formal negotiations have not yet begun. Once the negotiations formally start, the Bilateral Security Agreement must be completed within one year, according to the Strategic Partnership agreement, Grossman explained.

Some U.S. military officials have said the plan is to keep 25,000 American troops in Afghanistan past 2014, but Grossman insisted that there is no number yet and the 25,000 figure quoted in reports is speculative. NATO announced Monday that it will also keep international troops in Afghanistan past 2014 alongside U.S. troops, not for combat but strictly for the mission of training and advising the Afghans.

Grossman was speaking on a panel at the annual summit of the International Stability Operations Association in Washington. Also on the panel was Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who said that the State Department would need U.S. military troops in Afghanistan to protect them and help them well past 2014.

"Rather than developing our own capabilities, we will be depending on DOD support for functions such as a quick reaction force, personnel recovery, fuel support, explosive ordinance disposal, and medical assistance, by 2015," Kennedy said.

The Cable also asked Kennedy why he testified in a hearing last week that he was "inclined" to support the requests for more security in Libya before the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Kennedy declined to comment.

source

by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

so another campaign promise he isn't going to keep?

jewjewbee
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:16 PM
Quoting candlegal:

so another campaign promise he isn't going to keep?



the democrats hated Bush because he was a war president.
Obama is now a war president too. LOL
oh the irony!!
candlegal
by Judy on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM
2 moms liked this

I am just surprised they are letting this get out before the election.

Quoting jewjewbee:

Quoting candlegal:

so another campaign promise he isn't going to keep?



the democrats hated Bush because he was a war president.
Obama is now a war president too. LOL
oh the irony!!


jewjewbee
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Quoting candlegal:



I don't think Obama has a handle on the media anymore. Especially after Benghazi. the media wants a good story, and relationships with the media are give and take. The obama WH lied repeatedly to every news front they could about it. Now, IMO, the media is pissed obama didn't kiss the hand the fed him for nearly 6 years. He's simply thrown too many people under the bus. He just can't win this time.
jewjewbee
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM
I guess McCain was right, this will be a one hundred year war.
radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM

 Oh Jesus Christ.

Why in the hell do we need to spend two DECADES policing another country, putting our troops at risk??? If we had conducted this war the right way from the start, we would have left years ago!  


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting candlegal:

so another campaign promise he isn't going to keep?


Well Obama isn't all that familiar with what goes on at the State Department....

radioheid
by Libertarian on Oct. 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM
3 moms liked this

 As anti-Romney as I am, I had to laugh. lol

Its no wonder the firefighters union supports Obama. He's giving them a lot of business with all those people running around the White House with their pants on fire.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

 

Quoting candlegal:

so another campaign promise he isn't going to keep?


Well Obama isn't all that familiar with what goes on at the State Department....

 


"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

gsprofval
by on Oct. 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Just add this broken promise to the pages and pages of the rest of the broken promises.

What truly saddens me is that more lives will be lost--more military lives have been lost under obama in 4 years than were lost under Bush in 8 years.

candlegal
by Judy on Oct. 16, 2012 at 3:21 PM
1 mom liked this

I wonder why all those lefties aren't in here defending him or justifying why he is breaking another promise.

Quoting gsprofval:

Just add this broken promise to the pages and pages of the rest of the broken promises.

What truly saddens me is that more lives will be lost--more military lives have been lost under obama in 4 years than were lost under Bush in 8 years.


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