Combat mission over in Afghanistan by year's end, Obama says - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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>>

  • Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

    Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:23:08 GMT
    The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >>
    Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >>
  • Group says world is losing battle against Ebola

    Group says world is losing battle against Ebola

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-09-03 03:12:17 GMT
    The U.N. is warning that food prices are rising in countries hit by Ebola and that it'll get worse because many farmers won't be able to access fields during the upcoming harvests of rice and corn.More >>
    The international group Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is losing the battle against Ebola and lamented that treatment centers in West Africa have been "reduced to places where people go to die alone."More >>
  • Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes

    Report accuses Islamic State group of war crimes

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:24:18 GMT
    Amnesty International has accused the militant Islamic State group of carrying out a systematic campaign of mass killings, abductions and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq that could amount to war crimes.More >>
    An international rights group accused the extremist Islamic State group on Tuesday of systematic "ethnic cleansing" in northern Iraq targeting indigenous religious minorities, as well as conducting mass killings of men and...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