President Barack Obama signed an order that authorizes a mission that will keep the U.S. military in Afghanistan into 2015. Specifically the order allows American forces to proceed with missions against any militant group that is threatening the Afghan government or American troops. Included in this order is the approval of using American jets, drones and bombers to assist Afghan troops.
This move will keep the U.S. troops locked in the combat for the minimum of one more year. This decision somewhat conflicts with the presidents previous decision to bring the troops back home, instead the 9,800 troops will remain to hunt the Taliban and the “remnants of Al Qaeda.”
This decision ultimately comes as a result the end of the year, which would have marked the end of the 13-year-old mission, Operation Enduring Freedom. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan is in support of the decision and has requested that the U.S. continue their attack against the Taliban during 2015.
However, this order indicates that half of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan will come home while the rest will be consolidated into Kabul and Bagram, those troops will leave by the end of 2016, which will ideally make President Barack Obama look like the hero that ended the war before his term is over.
By Garrett Jutte
Photo by U.S. Military – Flickr Licence