Massive Withdrawals May Endanger Remaining U.S. Troops

Massive Withdrawals May Endanger Remaining U.S. Troops

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Some members of the Obama administration are applying a basic cost-benefit analysis to the Afghanistan War—floating the possibility of slashing the number of troops there to less than a few thousand by 2014 , The Washington Post reports.

This is where budget politics and national security get entangled.

The push to only keep a few thousand troops compared to 30,000 troops that NATO allies and U.S. officials had previously discussed, has some military officials worried that a sudden disengagement from the current 66,000 could lead to the collapse of a frail state on the verge of a civil war.  And White House officials have yet to rule out pulling all troops from Afghanistan.

The report of potentially largely scaling back the United State’s presence in Afghanistan comes on the heels of President Obama’s controversial nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary. Hagel’s nomination has fired up the debate over military spending, with conservatives deeming him Obama’s “front man for defense cuts.”  We can be sure to expect his conformation hearings to spark a brutal battle over the Pentagon’s budget.   -   Read more at The Washington Post

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Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.