Combat mission over in Afghanistan by year's end, Obama says - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Combat mission over in Afghanistan by year's end, Obama says

Posted: Updated:
Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year. (Source: CNN) Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year. (Source: CNN)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

    Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:44:48 GMT
    Elsa Ramirez already had lost two brothers to violence in this remote Caribbean region when co-workers handling clandestine cocaine flights from South America murdered her husband four months ago.More >>
    Elsa Ramirez already had lost two brothers to violence in this remote Caribbean region when co-workers handling clandestine cocaine flights from South America murdered her husband four months ago.More >>
  • European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:43:21 GMT
    Germany's largest airline, Lufthansa, says it is cancelling all flights to Tel Aviv for at least another 24 hours because of ongoing safety concerns.More >>
    Air France and Germany's two largest airlines on Wednesday canceled more flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas.More >>
  • Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down

    Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:33:43 GMT
    Iraqi officials say the death toll from a late night suicide attack targeting a police checkpoint in Baghdad has climbed to 31 people, most of them civilians.More >>
    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected an attempt by Iran to persuade him to step down, senior Iraqi politicians said Wednesday, underlining his determination to defy even his top ally to push for a third term...More >>

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - After more than 12 years of war, President Barack Obama has announced a new plan to wrap up America's military involvement in Afghanistan.

It calls for thousands of U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond the end of this year.

But, only if the Afghan government cooperates.

Declaring the combat mission in Afghanistan over by the end of the year, Obama laid out the final chapter for the nation's longest war.

"The bottom line is, it's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

Beyond 2014, a small, residual force will be limited to training Afghan fighters and counter-terror operations.

Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year.

And about half that by 2016.

And embassy security only in the Afghan capital as Obama prepares to leave office.

Obama's proposal stops short of the full withdrawal he promised voters in 2012.

"We will have them all out of there by 2014," he said then.

But worried about a repeat of the bloodshed that followed the pullout from Iraq, U.S. military commanders pushed for a minimum of 10,000 troops.

And that plan, the top general in Afghanistan cautioned, won't be perfect.

"There would be an increased risk," said Gen. Joseph Dunford.

In a statement, three key GOP senators called the president's plan "a monumental mistake and a triumph of politics over strategy."

The White House proposal hinges on a new security agreement with Afghan leaders.

Afghanistan's current President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign it, leaving it to the two men vying to replace him to seal the deal.

"The two final Afghan candidates in the runoff election for president have each indicated that they would sign this (agreement) after taking office. So I'm hopeful we can get this done," Obama said.

Without that security agreement, White House officials stress there will be no troops in Afghanistan after the end of this year.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow