The commander of allied forces in Afghanistan said the war effort there is succeeding as Afghan forces assume more responsibility for their nation’s security and bear a greater burden of losses to the Taliban.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is heading to his first visit to Asia since the Pentagon said in January it would “rebalance” military strategy toward a region President Barack Obama has called critical to U.S. interests.
The political fallout from the March 11 shooting of 16 civilians, allegedly by an American soldier, is threatening the dual pillars of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, U.S. officials and regional experts said.
President Barack Obama, announcing a reduction of 33,000 troops in Afghanistan by September 2012, said it was “time to focus on nation-building at home” and offered a “centered course” for U.S. military engagement that he said would be rooted in pragmatism.
President Barack Obama said the surge of military force he ordered to Afghanistan in 2009 largely has accomplished its objectives and he’ll pull the 33,000 extra troops from the country by the summer of 2012.
President Barack Obama will announce tomorrow the next step in his strategy for winding down U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, beginning a withdrawal of troops starting next month as public support for the war wanes.