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Having to defend the decision of announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country which has a long history of not giving an easy time to foreign armies. From the time of the British who spent many battles in there, but could never claim that they had an easy control, to the Soviets who spent a huge military effort over there but finally had to retreat in the face of a harsh and determined, religion-fired insurgency, to the Pakistanis who used proxies (Taliban) to control the country, but could never claim that Pakistan ran Afghanistan. The history of the US in terms of running military campaigns in foreign countries after the Second World War has been bad; they had to retreat from Vietnam, retreated from Beirut after a huge truck bomb killed many marines, the Iraq war had seen a huge amount of internal opposition, a balanced Somalia effort was stopped after a street fight in Mogadishu killed 18 US soldiers, and so on. There is a huge internal debate in the US about evaluating the needs of sending troops to battle overseas, even if there is a need; and the sight of body bags of fallen soldiers causes this debate to get even more heated and emotional.
In Afghanistan, the US has a bad reputation; they were heavily involved till the Soviets left, and then the US abandoned the area, only picking it up after it started sensing terrorism efforts originating from there, and finally after the 9/11 attacks. Now, after President Obama did a balance of the military needs and political needs by announcing more troops, but also announcing a deadline, he has to balance multiple reactions.

Internally, the US President is coming under huge strain; his fellow Democrats don’t support adding more troops to the Afghan war since it is highly unpopular with their base; the Republicans did not support his announcing of a deadline to commence withdrawal of troops. The biggest fear of everyone is that by announcing a date, the Taleban, which has been out of power for 8 years now and fighting the insurgency, can afford to wait 2 more years and then make the effort to overthrow Karzai when the US leaves. Pakistan would no longer be willing to invest in an effort to fight the Taleban if it sees the US disengaging from the area, and needs a friendly Afghanistan to counter India.
So now, you have US officials trying their best to persuade leaders from all over that the US has not announced a disengagement, that the withdrawal would only happen if the Afghan army and security services are in a good enough condition, and that the end date for the withdrawal is not decided. Further, the US would set up bases in the area to ensure that it retains a sizable balance. However, Obama is also being accused of making decisions based on politics by ensuring that a withdrawal is in place when he is fighting for re-election.

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