WASHINGTON: Some US 34, 000 troops would withdraw from the war-torn country Afghanistan in the next year, President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday, and by the end of 2014, the President vowed, the US war in the country would come to an end.
“After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home,” Obama said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“We can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of Al Qaeda,” US President said in praising the sacrifices made since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled its Taliban rulers.
“Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.”
US President had called Afghan President Hamid Karzai, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to inform them of his decision, a senior US official informed.
Obama said that the administration was “negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counterterrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.”
The US will help its allies confront an evolving Al-Qaeda threat and be more transparent with the American people in the fight against terror groups, President Barack Obama said.
Obama said the administration had worked to keep Congress “fully informed” of counterterrorism efforts. He acknowledged though that “in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way.”
“So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world,” the President added.