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Withdraw From Afghanistan May Be Imminent

Courtesy: US Defense Department
February 26, 2014

On Tuesday, President Obama called on the Pentagon to put forth a plan that would bring troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.  This comes as the government of Afghanistan has failed to pass an agreement that would allow US forces to stay in the country past the end of this year.  The administration has warned President Karzai that it is serious about the proposition, and that it expects progress on a security agreement soon.

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We’re not bluffing, the Obama administration told Afghanistan on Tuesday in announcing for the first time it has started planning for the possible withdrawal of all U.S. troops by the end of the year if no security agreement is signed.

Statements by the White House and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel showed President Barack Obama’s impatience with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign the agreement that would keep several thousand American troops in the country after combat operations conclude this year.

In a phone call with Karzai on Tuesday to discuss upcoming elections for a new Afghan leader, Obama made clear that time was running out to properly plan for keeping any U.S. forces in the country beyond 2014, the White House said.

Meanwhile, a senior Pakistani official warned that pulling out U.S. troops could have dire consequences, leading to a civil war in Afghanistan.

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