Obama To Order Troop Reduction — By November 2012

President Barack Obama will reportedly announce tonight that he is going to reduce our current 100,000 troop level in Afghanistan by 30,000 — by November 2012. That date may seem familiar. It is the next election day.

Like many who have been critical of this war, this strikes me a too little and too late. Do not mistake me. I am happy to see a one-third withdrawal, but this would just reduce levels to the personnel levels before the “surge.” No one imagined we would still be in the country, at alone with 70,000 troops, in 2012. We will still be gushing billions of dollars for a country that is openly hostile to the United States and has accused the U.S. of stealing money and destroying their nation.

These numbers will be a mix of combat and non-combat troops. The Pentagon wanted non-combat troops only but Obama at least held the line on that point and ordered some combat troops to be included.
Under the plan, 10,000 troops will be withdrawn by the end of this year. Secretary Bob Gates and Afghan war commander Gen. David Petraeus wanted a drawdown of between 3,000 and 5,000 troops this year — and no combat troops.

However, the public is increasing angry over the wars and polls show a many citizens want to be entirely out of Afghanistan. Nearly three-quarters of Americans polled this month said they support the United States pulling some or all of its forces from Afghanistan. With the unpopularity of the latest war in Libya, Obama is paying a high political price for continuing to spend billions at a time when he is calling for cuts in domestic programs.

The timing of the withdrawal with the November election is remarkably dumb. It conveys a connection between Obama’s political strategy and the war. This war has been grinding on for years despite growing opposition. Yet, the Administration picks November 2012 as when it will finally call for a partial withdrawal. That decision only came after every polls shows the President losing votes on the issue. The appearance is one of a cynical calculation with lives in the balance. This may be unfair and the date is a total coincidence but the optics are perfectly horrible.

Source: CNN

44 thoughts on “Obama To Order Troop Reduction — By November 2012”

  1. Mike,

    Thanks for your comments. I am 64 and that puts me at the end of the civil rights era and right in the middle of the Vietnam Era (I did not serve). I follow all this stuff and tell myself it belongs to another generation. I did my time. OK maybe it is not a good excuse. The problem is, of course, if we do not have a constant supply of fossil fuel there will be chaos. The answer is, of course, less consumption, renewables, and technology. Can it happen? Willl it? yes. When? When the powers can control it. OK simplistic but history seems to strongly suggest a pattern. I cannot see much changing without some old-fashion honor and incorruptable leadership (I am a bit of a romantic). In association with that leadership there will need to bring together the progressive-liberal movement ito speak with one voice. Again, a romantic’s notion.

  2. Mike S, Without the draft, it seems difficult to get young people engaged in the anti-war movement. They seem to be absent for the most part. Guess you would have to organize the rallies through twitter.

  3. “Col. Wilkerson was on KO last night. Once again he got to the bottom line, non-rewnewable energy. He said NATO forces will be there (almost any place with oil or a current or future pipeline) for decades.”


    You stole my thunder, since I was just going to comment on the interview. What was so amazing about it was that it nakedly stated that these wars represented our ENERGY interests and nothing else.
    All the other crap that got us into Afghanistan and Iraq one the surface was just an excuse for us to occupy strategic territory in the battle to control non-renewable energy sources. All of this destruction and loss of life is in the end about money and power. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised about that, but most of us are not troops who have been conned into risking their lives, by phony appeals to their patriotism.

    The saddest part of last night’s interview is that Wilkerson is a “moderate” on these things. The “moderate” foreign policy establishment, which includes it seems Obama and H. Clinton, is acting in what they believe are the best interests of our country.
    This is their disconnect, but it is entrenched in the Beltway, as gospel. They believe they are wise and that they know better than we the unwashed masses. Hubris is as always the continuing theme in human affairs.

    Our little online community is blessed these days with the return of Rafflaw’s son. I am filled with rage though about all the other young sons and daughter’s remaining in danger, in a cynical and misguided effort to maintain the modern equivalent of empire. This is not about who we elect, since there is no one person who can change this mindset from either party. This ia about how do we as a citizenry effect a peaceful uprising against this senseless and ultimately dangerous perception of what’s best for our country? This is a battle of ideas and ideals, not violence, since violent thinking is what has gotten us into this mess already.

    Perhaps it is time to ressurrect the 60’s anti-war movement, but without the political dogma and egotism that led it astray. A movement that has average Americans, from all walks of life, joining together and demanding that we replace violence with vision
    in our foreign and domestic policy. This may be the forelorn hope of and old Hippie, but had we not let ourselves been misled by ego tripping wannabe’s and government counter intelligence operations, we might have ended that war and changed the course of the future.

  4. Swarthmore Mom:

    Re Romney. “Staying the course” is the standard code phrase for “I don’t have a clue what to do, but if I venture an opinion, it may turn out to be wrong.”

  5. Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011


    This is a list of the U.S. military personnel who have given their lives serving their country in Afghanistan since Memorial Day, which was May 30. The list includes the hero’s name, age, hometown and date of death as reported by the Department of Defense.

    –Spc. Richard C. Emmons III, 22, North Grandby, Conn., May 31, 2011

    –Sgt. Jeffrey C. S. Sherer, 29, Four Oaks, N.C., June 2, 2011

    –Sgt. Christopher R. Bell, 21, Golden, Miss., June 4, 2011

    –Sgt. Joshua D. Powell, 28, Quitman, Texas, June 4, 2011

    –Spc. Devin A. Snyder, 20, Cohocton, N.Y., June 4, 2011

    –Spc. Robert L. Voakes Jr., 21, L’Anse, Mich., June 4, 2011

    –Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth R. White, 35, Fort Collins, Colo., June 5, 2011

    –Chief Warrant Officer Bradley J. Gaudet, 31, Gladewater, Texas June 5, 2011

    –Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison, 27, New Bethlehem, Pa., June 6, 2011

    –Cpl. William J. Woitowicz, 23, Middlesex, Mass., June 7, 2011

    –Lance Cpl. Nicholas S. O’Brien, 21, Stanley, N.C., June 9, 2011

    –Cpl. Matthew T. Richard, 21, Acadia, La., June 9, 2011

    –Capt. Michael W. Newton, 30, Newport News, Va., June 11, 2011

    –Lance Cpl. Jason D. Hill, 20, Poway, Calif., June 11, 2011

    –Lance Cpl. Sean M. N. O’Connor, 22, Douglas, Wyo., June 12, 2011

    –Lance Cpl. Joshua B. McDaniels, 21, Dublin, Ohio, June 12, 2011

    –Pfc. Eric D. Soufrine, 20, Woodbridge, Conn., June 14, 2011

    –Staff Sgt. Jeremy A. Katzenberger, 26, Weatherby Lake, Mo., June 14, 2011

    –Pvt. Ryan J. Larson, 19, Friendship, Wis., June 15, 2011

    –Sgt. Mark A. Bradley, 25, Cuba, N.Y., June 16, 2011

    –Spc. Scott D. Smith, 36, Indianapolis, Ind., June 17, 2011

    –Pfc. Brian J. Backus, 21, Saginaw Township, Mich., June 18, 2011

    — Sgt. 1st Class Alvin A. Boatwright, 33, Lodge, S.C., June 18, 2011

    –Sgt. Edward F. Dixon III, 37, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., June 18, 2011

    –Staff Sgt. Alan L. Snyder, 28, Blackstone, Mass., June 18, 2011

    –Spc. Tyler R. Kreinz, 21, Beloit, Wis., June 18, 2011

    –Pfc. Josue Ibarra, 21, Midland, Texas, June 19, 2011

    –Sgt. James W. Harvey II, 23, Toms River, N.J., June 20, 2011

    –Pfc. Gustavo A. Rios-Ordonez, 25, Englewood, Ohio, June 20, 2011

    –Lance Cpl. Jared C. Verbeek, 22, Visalia, Calif, June 21. 2011

  6. So BVM – you want us to take Minister F’s word for things now? You are even a bigger idiot than you appear to be.
    What choice do we have in this matter? Who can we vote for? As bad as this President has been on some of these issues he is 1000x better than Boy Blunder and his Super Friends were. Take a look at the field of dingbats, wingnuts, grifters and holy warriors that are running, or even mentioned as possibly running, for the GOP nomination. There is not a single one of them that would do a better job in any area of government and would certainly do worse.

    As long as the Republican Party remains in the hands of criminals and wingnuts Democrats do not have to do much to be the better choice. Until The GOP returns to sanity we have very little hope of improvement.

  7. Col. Wilkerson was on KO last night. Once again he got to the bottom line, non-rewnewable energy. He said NATO forces will be there (almost any place with oil or a current or future pipeline) for decades.

    It seems obvious to me that very powerful people will ignore morality, ethics, integrity, and honor, to maintain the wealth that fuels their power. Yes, not a reveation.

  8. Planning to continue the U.S. led Wars of Aggression is a ‘Crime Against Peace’

    A ‘Crime Against Peace’ is defined in the Nuremberg Charter as the “Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances.” War Crimes are being committed in conspiring and waging these US-led illegal wars.

    Planning to ‘Stay the Course’ is a murderous War Crime.

  9. yet considerably more than the deaths at The Cowpens. also just as irrelevant.

  10. frankmascagniiiiMASCAGNI III:

    Still less than the body count from ONE DAY at Normandy or Antietam.

  11. Gee, a reduction in forces timed in the same timeline as the Election Cycle.

    Just a coincidence, right?

    Ignore the military experts — go with the pollsters! That’s the way to victory — just not one in Afghanistan.

    When al-Qaeda has control of Pakistan’s nukes, we may have some regrets…

  12. Here is an interesting article I saw several months ago on THE COST OF WAR:

    Discuss in my forum
    The Cost of War
    By Rod Powers, About.com Guide
    Mar 2 2011
    During the month when Americans recall the horrors of September 11, 2001, it’s important that we pause and reflect on the ultimate cost of war — not in terms of dollars, but something much more valuable — the lives of our brave service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the “War on Terrorism.”

    As of August 2, 4,683 brave Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) on October 7, 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began with the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. Of the total deaths, 3,708 were due to hostile fire, and the remainder due to non-hostile actions (such as accident, suicide, or illness).

    In contrast, during the First Gulf War (1990-1991), 382 American service members died in-theater, 147 (38%) of those a result of direct combat.

    During the Vietnam War (1964 to 1975), there were 47,413 U.S. Military battle-related deaths, and 10,785 service members died from other causes.

    In the five years of World War II (1940-1945), 291,557 American troops lost their lives in combat, and 671,846 were wounded.

    The Army (including the Army National Guard and Reserves) comprises 48.8% of the total DOD force, but sustained 73.2% (2,716) of the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Marine Corps (including the Reserves) makes up only 10.8% of the total DOD force, but experienced 23.3% (867) of the combat related deaths. The Navy (including Reserves) make up 18.9% of the total DOD force, and sustained 2.2% (84) of the total combat casualties. The Air Force (including Air National Guard and Reserves) comprises 21.5% of the total DOD force, and experienced 1.1% (40) of the total casualties. There has been one Coast Guard combat casualty.

    The active duty forces comprise 55% of the total DOD force and has experienced 81.5% (2,820) of the total deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Reserve forces (Reserves and National Guard) make up 45% of the force, and received 18.4% (863) of the total casualties.

    Enlisted personnel make up 83.4% of the total force, and experienced 89.9% (4,212) of the total casualties. Officers (including Warrant Officers) comprise 16.6% of the DOD force and had 10.1% (471) of the casualties.

    2.4% (113) of the total fatalities were women, who make up 16% of the total DOD force. Men, who make up 84% of the total force experienced 97.6% (4,570) of the deaths in the two theaters of operation.

    Among age groups:

    Ages 18-21 — 28.2% (1,325) of the deaths
    Ages 22-24 — 23.7% (1,108) of the deaths
    Ages 25-30 — 25.6% (1,198) of the deaths
    Ages 31-35 — 10.4% (486) of the deaths
    Over 35 — 12.1% (566) of the deaths

    Some in recent years have espoused that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect minorities more heavily than whites. The DOD data dispels that notion.

    Whites make up 75.6% of the U.S. population (ages 18-44), and 67% of the total DOD force, but experienced 75.2% (3,525) of the combat casualties. Among the 18-44 age-group, Blacks make up 12.2% of the U.S. population, 17% of the total DOD force, and experienced 9.3% (437) of the total casualties. Hispanics comprise 14.2% of the population, 9% of the total DOD force and had 10.4% (489) of the casualties.

    Wounded in Action

    30,490 U.S. service members have been wounded due to combat actions in Iraq and 2,309 in Afghanistan (32,799 total). The Army experienced 22,948 (70.0%) of those casualties, the Marine Corps 8,721 (26.6%), the Navy 656 (2%), and the Air Force 474 (1.4%).

    The Army had 1,515 officers and 19,664 enlisted Soldiers wounded in action. The Marine Corps had 420 officers and 8,178 enlisted Marines WIA. The Navy experienced 35 officers who were WIA, and 621 Sailors. The Air Force statistics include 44 officers WIA and 430 enlisted Airmen WIA.

    Active duty personnel comprised 26,056 (79.4%) of the WIA, with 6,743 (20.5%) Guard/Reserve personnel WIA.

    The Army had 533 female WIA, the Marine Corps had 41, the Navy had 5, and the Air Force had 27 females WIA in the two combat areas.

    Whites made up 25,254 (77.0%) of the WIAs, blacks comprised 2,688 (8.0%), and hispanics made up 2,061 (6.3%) of those wounded in action.

    The Real Cost of War

    What is the real cost of war? On just one day in September 2001, 2,792 people lost their lives when the twin towers fell in New York.

    Military, political, and world affairs experts will long be debating the wisdom and necessity of the “Iraqi War.” Was the invasion necessary to the security of the United States, or even necessary for humanitarian or other essential reasons? “Experts” on both sides of the debate continue to disagree.

    One thing is certain. The one thing we can never forget is the cost. of war — any war — is high. The price tag is not measured only in dollars. It’s measured in the loss of the most valuable asset of all — the price of war is measured in the loss of lives.

  13. Mike Appleton: “This nation has adopted a veritable culture of war at home and abroad, all cloaked in euphemisms”.

    But the majority of Americans don’t want us there, ‘there’ being any of the battlefields we are on. Our masters may want us there, may still dream of empire, but the rest of us don’t. We may be complying with the lack of an active resistance but I don’t think “adopted”, as an affirmative act, is necessarily the right word.

    I saw someone on Maddow tonight talking about Afghanistan and he (I don’t remember the name) said we know the whole story, Afghanistan is poor, it won’t matter who is maintaining our security interests in Afghanistan we will pay for it.

    We are so totally screwed. This talk by the president tonight clarified that. Unless the President and Democrats are prepared to somehow increase revenue through taxes we will continue to hemorrhage funds for war for years to come. Defense and internal security will continue to siphon half the country’s budget. Government is completely divorced from the citizenry, both the needs and desires of the citizenry. I don’t know how this situation will end but I’m thinking it will not be a good end.

Comments are closed.