U.S. commander wants U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014
December 17th, 2011
02:21 PM ET

U.S. commander wants U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014

By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) - Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, told reporters Saturday he would like to keep a U.S. "military presence" in Afghanistan beyond 2014 when NATO is scheduled to withdraw its forces. Allen suggested the presence could last as long as 2016 when the Afghan Air Force is completed.

Allen insisted there is "no daylight" between him and the White House on this idea. Allen said he wants to shift the U.S. presence to an advisory capacity in the coming months and then continue to do that mission after 2014.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has asked Allen to review the counterinsurgency strategy and determine what changes are needed. Allen said he has to complete the review before he can decide on the rate of drawdown of current U.S. force levels.

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Not Impressed

    ISAF will continue to have a presence in Afghanistan well past 2016. Emphasis on presence, the Afghan people want our help and they have asked ISAF to continue its support. 2014 and 2016 are just transition points. As it was in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, our military has maintained a presence in each country and not until some form of stability was formed did we "fully withdraw" our troops. Ms. Starr's reporting is not entirely accurate when she wrote "Allen suggested the presence could last as long as 2016 when the Afghan Air Force is completed." As ISAF and the US have repeatedly emphasized that the 2014 withdrawal only marks a point in which we will no longer have a large military presence in Afghanistan. The fact of the matter is our presence will remain until the Afghan government no longer whishes to have NATO, ISAF and the US assisting them in securing their home.

    What most American's fail to remember is that our country started in much the same way as Afghanistan, we fought for our independence and when all the world powers thought it couldn't be done, we established our own government and created a country in which Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness were its building blocks.

    Our efforts here in Afghanistan are to give the people of Afghanistan that same privilege. A privilege that most of us have forgotten and that 99% of the American people don't fight for, much less remember or know how their right to free speech was provided to them. The majority of Americans are too self involved to know what it means to earn what they have. And earning what you have doesn't mean going to work and abiding by our laws, it means not taking it for granted and every now and again thanking a soldier, airmen, marine or sailor for giving you the right to talk down, degrade and complain to them about how hard your life is.

    Bottom line, I think this little piece was poorly written and lacks the depth and context which Ms. Starr was provided to write this garbage.

    December 18, 2011 at 6:33 am | Reply
    • Icu

      It's funny how you Americans forget to mention kicking Native Indians out of their homes in pursuit of your happiness!

      December 18, 2011 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • senator1

      it was about time the brave American are pulled out
      despite best efforts they could not match the courage shown by 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee in 1890

      most daring action by American army
      December 29, 1890
      23 brave soldiers were awarded medal of honour in one action when they ensured that
      none of 350 unarmed women children and babies of Sioux Indians escaped,
      the foolish Indians call it a massacre

      similarity of nation building is the reason of great friendship between Israel and America i.e.
      Kill the natives, occupy their land and herd the rest into reservations,

      December 18, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  2. @Richard A

    If the US government were heavily involved in the sale of illegal drugs then there wouldn't be a $14 trillion deficet. And yes, a lot of people do believe the US troops are in Afghanistan to fight terrorism and that is the reason there are so many troops in that country. Don't forget your tin foil hat.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  3. Bradley

    I love how everyone keeps saying "vote Ron Paul, he'll bring our troops home!"???... Yeah right.. Just like Obama was going to. Its not all their decision so its not going to happen. And not to mention he is almost 80.. Soo your pretty much going to be voting for his vice president not him.

    December 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • Austin Murray

      The president mainly focused on the troops in iraq that he will bring them home. Afghanistan was another subject he never really promised or gave alot of info on what he will do there.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  4. Gaven

    Vote Ron Paul 2012 and bring ALL of our overseas troops back home, where they belong!

    December 17, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  5. Aztech

    No they won't, the world will end in 2012.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  6. Max

    What a short memory we Americans have. If we don't finish the job here, we'll be in the same predicament as we were in 2001.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  7. space

    lolol, more military spending. Sadly, these people will wake up one day as say, "hey, where's that country I'm suppose to be defending gone?" haha

    December 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  8. Eric

    If our government has had some type relationship with Pakistan than why haven't they used it to get Bow Bergdahl freed and brought home. He has been held since 2009.

    December 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • Gaven


      December 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  9. Beatrix Kiddo

    Military commanders want US presence EVERYWHERE indefinitely. Time to stop wasting our tax dollars on the other side of the world and start spend that money here at home!

    December 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  10. Alfredo

    Pull the troops out now. Bin Laden is dead. Save US soldier lives and taxpayer dollars!

    December 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • Christine

      That won't happen until definitive proof can be provided that someone in the US has nothing to gain from this, be it money, political standing, or another notch on the bedpost.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • John

      Well unfortunately the mission is not done yet.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Reply
      • Christine

        And I think that is what has most people upset because they don't know or even understand what the mission is. As much as they bitch and complain they don't realize that they are sometimes better off not knowing.

        December 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Richard A

      Does anyone really believe that U.S. troops are in Afghanistan to "fight terrorism"? For decades various branches of the U.S. government have been heavily involved with the sale of illegal drugs in order to finance private and public wars.

      Afghanistan's chief resource and main crop is the Poppy which ultimately produces heroin. I personally believe that the funding from this source is being tapped by the U.S. government in one way or another.

      Can you truly find another reason why so many troops are in that country? While a few poppy fields are cut down for the camera's... millions of acres are producing to finance who knows what.....

      December 17, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  11. Kerry

    Since Pakistan is now part of the evil empire the U.S. now has no choice. It's either stay or watch them fall to the Taliban and become overtaken by Pakistani Terrorists. Then the bad guys win.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  12. ALL uh

    pull out now, it's like Pakistan, a waste of time on stone age murdering muslims

    December 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Reply
    • Come on...

      The Muslims murdered the stone age? We should stop fighting a war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home to fight the horrors of illiteracy.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  13. PlainTruth71

    Well now we got a US Commander with a check book that has no register... Holy cow... lets go home ... stop spending our money on a corrupt country...

    December 17, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  14. Bill

    If we are in Afghanistan through 2014, that's just that many more useless deaths. I'd rather see the country nuked than waste anymore US lives in that cesspool.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  15. Sudhir Kumar

    With our low life politicians in congress I mean the whole congress being in bed with wall street, By 2014 US may well become Afghanistan.

    December 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  16. rk from NY

    this war wont end until pak problem is solved..

    December 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  17. works4me

    Throw 'em the keys and do what one Shepard said to the other Shepherd... get the flock outta there!

    December 17, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  18. yourmom

    last time I checked afghanistan harbored the individuals that killed over 3000 of our citizens in a terror attack. you ungrateful whiny liberals should be kissing our ***** for being over there and trying to keep it from happening again. Concentrate on things you can control what goes on over there is none of your concern.

    December 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Jimmer

      So what branch of the military are you in?......I would hope warmongers like you support what you believe in..........

      December 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • Jimmer

        oh....and by the way......bin laden is dead...why are we still there......

        December 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • crusader12

      Another doughboy idiot who was too stupid to make a living thinking for himself so he took the peanuts the government through at him and in return he likes to kill, r@pe, and pillage. Too bad for this guy too, a couple more IQ points and he MAY have made it as a Walmart Greeter. Sorry about your luck my friend, hope some suicide bomber gets you and then r@pes your family when the Chinese finally take our continent.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
      • .............

        well you guys are obviously morons i mean the entire country cant full of stupid ass pussies like ^^^^^^^ so someone has to fight if he wants to stay over there their must be something he knows that we dont know its not like we know what the situation is where he's at by reading some of the things you wrote its quite clear that no one in your family has ever served or you wouldn't be as fucken retarded as you are not all the soldiers are the same just because the commanders want to stay doesn't mean everyone does im pretty sure the guy that wrote the first comment was never in the military either and that 99 percent of the people over there want an end to the war as well since there the ones that will pay for it not you siting behind your computer so lets thing some of the things we write yeah dude? we're all Americans the congress declares war not the military God bless our neighbors, fathers sons aunts uncles and ect. that are over there and God bless our country and people

        December 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
    • MikeinMN

      Juust another of the FOX News sheeple. Sorry dude.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply


    December 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • works4me

      Damn right. Take the profit out of war and they will ALL end!

      December 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  20. Bill

    This "war" is the biggest boondoggle we've done since the nonsense in Iraq. Nobiody can teach these primitive religiously-based societies/countries tofunction as a unified nation.That's what they had a strong-arm dictator who kicked butt to get some semblence of order! This is their rich and glorious history...endless infighting and bloodletting in the name of their tribe or faction of Islam. We need to realize that fact and pull out of that place – we could be there literally forever – like misguided boy scouts, trying to help little old ladies across the street who don't want to go!

    December 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  21. Mark

    Ask a warrior what our country should do and he'll say 'wage war' every time. This is why our country and military are led by civilians. It's past time for the civilians to reign in our warriors and war machine and turn our attention and budget to rebuilding our country.

    December 17, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Mark ... have you ever served in the military? If so you would know how stupid your comment is.

      December 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Christine

      Last time I checked Mark, the civilians were the ones who put us in this particular situation in the first place. And please don't try to convince yourself that Bush could rein in a wet noodle from a strainer much less another person. It's going to take a long time before any of this will ever be straightened out, but putting more civilians in charge will do more damage than good. Trust me, if you had any experience working with, in, and around the military you would know that. But I seriously doubt that you know anything of real value.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  22. pstatz1121

    Oh, God! Isnt the Mission over? Bin Laden is dead. Why are we still there? I know that there is the Iranian problem but they will self destruct on their own. Time to pull our troops and money out of that ungreatful area.

    December 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • yourmom

      youve obviously never heard of mullah omar.

      December 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
      • your sister

        there is always somebody to replace

        December 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  23. Dave

    Don't want troops in Afghanistan... vote Ron Paul. End of story.

    December 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Miles

      I second that.

      December 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  24. JCCK

    I wonder what happened to all those who just couldn't wait to rush out and buy their " Freedom Fries" ? Where did all the flags go that lined American streets for about two weeks ? Anybody hear any good , patriotic country western songs lately ? Americans were warned from the get go that the war against terrorism would be very long and very costly. Our current enemies have caught on to the fact that the North Vietnamese knew .. America had no stomach for a long and costly war. The easiest and quickest way to end the mess we are in now is to reinstate the Draft with very, very limited deferments. The American public would go insane overnite. Without a draft the military is at war, with a draft the entire country is at war.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • sleepyinsf

      I've never heard a good patriotic song of any kind, country or otherwise.

      December 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • David

      Sooo, you're implying that there is some "good" to come out of occupying Afghanistan? So misguided. So naive.

      December 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  25. Sean Lukens

    If anyone is so naive as to be shocked or even surprised by this, then I suggest we revoke their driver's license and right to vote immediately. The utter naivete and stupidity of the American public when it comes to the world and our role and involvement in it is astonishing to say the least. Of course we'll be in Afghanistan until 2014, and beyond. This IS the reality of empire, folks. And, yes, America is an empire, even if it's one desperately trying to hold on.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • jimbo

      Not if Ron Paul is elected president. He's the only sane nominee.

      December 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  26. loathstheright

    We should have been out of there 8 years ago.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  27. Chinatown

    So far, the total tally for America being at war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is 30 YEARS (we bombed Iraq all through the 90s).....and now Syria, Iran on the horizon.....we are a perpetual war machine nation until our final economic collapse.....Congress just passed a bill that states it's ok for the military to arrest any US citizen here at home and hold them indefinitely without trial if the govt labels them a "terrorist" and Obama has lifted his veto threat on it.....WAKE UP SHEEP all these wars are all about $ and politics!! Sure, our reaction to 911 was justified, though we should've gotten outta there after the 1st few months.....we've killed OBL and toppled the Taliban.....this is the military-industrial complex on steroids.......once Obama signs the defense authorization bill, you can kiss America goodbye since the door to dictatorship and Police State will be opened......it was nice while it lasted, goodbye America.....

    December 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  28. realitypolice

    Here is how we can assure that we won't be- ELECT RON PAUL

    December 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • HawkeyePrideEdison

      RON PAUL 2012!

      December 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  29. NoWay

    No more studies – set a short date and keep it. Unless the Republican War Machine sees otherwise.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  30. kirsten

    My boyfriend comes home in 2012,won't be eligible to deploy til 2014 which was supposed to be when the troops leave...I don't know what I'd do if he has to go back:/ I want my man home, it's time the Afghans take responsibility for themselves.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • fff

      hey idiot, afghans want to take resposibility themselves but the u.s. wants to stay there and control the area.

      December 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • sleepyinsf

      Time the Afghans take responsibility for themselves?? Are you joking? To pick up the pieces from a war we started? Sorry, toots, but you're irrelevant, as are your wants...they really don't add up to a hill of beans in this crazy world. We invaded a country and to suggest that the Afghanis need to take responsibility for that is asinine at best.

      December 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  31. benfreidmouth

    We need to get out of there NOW!
    We don't need to become an economically bankrupt nation. Wars are our BIGGEST expense.
    We don't need more wars started over lies such as WMD. Granted that wasn't the excuse used to go into Afghanistan. It is still unwarranted. Just end our bigoted fear mongering of a race/religion/people and we won't have to start these wars to satisfy these blatantly false paranoia.

    December 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • SGT Ford

      I'm afraid you are mistaken. We did not enter Afghanistan because of race/religious persecution as you suggest. Afghanistan and it's government were harboring the terrorists who claimed responsibility for the actions on 9/11/01. I suggest you enlist and go see the world from a different NON MEDIA point of view. I suggest that we instate mandatory service, as most countries do. Turn 18, go to the military for 3 years, after that time, do what you wish. That way each and every American would have a bond with the military that exceeds friendships and family members and thus would stand behind the actions that MUST happen to ensure that peace and stability are brought to our nation as well as other nations that request our help.

      December 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  32. mosinnagant

    "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."
    -Obama campaign speech Oct. 27 2007

    youtube com/watch?v=kr9ywEFRQkQ

    December 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Trade

      What? Obama didn't keep his word? Really, who woulda thunk it?

      December 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Tom Tucker

      Well...he wasn't exactly mistaken. It just depends on WHICH war we are referring to...

      If it's the war in Iraq, then he did his job...

      But if it's in Afghanistan, well.........

      December 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  33. kashi

    vote ron paul. lets take care of america and americans. these others...they dont WANT us there, wedont want to BE over there, they hate us, wish death to us and only want money from us. time to get out and leqve them to live the tribal warfare caveman type of living that they so desire. they will kill each other off and leave the rest of us to live in peace.

    December 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • benfreidmouth

      Biggest misconception that we went to these countries for nation building... you are a sucker for falling for that. These countries were more progressive and safe and peaceful till we went in there over whatever excuse we made to go there. We DID NOT go there to nation build for sure.

      December 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
      • Seriously

        Afghanistan peaceful?? Even after Osama Bin Laden bragged about the 9/11 attacks that HE had carried out and you think they are all peaceful?

        December 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
      • mosinnagant

        Bin Laden admitted to being involved in 9/11? The FBI must not have got the memo then because while he was on the FBI's most wanted list he was never officially wanted for having anything to do with 9/11.

        December 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • BillInLA

        I agree with your point that nation-building was an exercise in futility, but you must have been watching TV news from the satire channel on Planet Pol Pot if you actually think Iraq or Afghanistan was "progressive and safe and peaceful." Certainly, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban felt safe building terrorist camps, oppressing women, and killing their political opponents, and in Iraq, the genocidal Saddam Hussein was progressively building up his personal wealth.

        December 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • kashi

        i dont see where i referred to "nation building" in my post so not sure where that came from but...no, that was never my assumption nor hasit been anyone elses i think. like i said...they dont want us there, we dont wqnt to be there and they only reason we ARE there is because they want our money and we wqnt to get the boogey-man terrorists. but i think we are all ature enough to realize that these boogie men will remain cooped up in their country if we leave them to dotheir thing.

        December 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  34. Myrna Garcia

    We need our sons to be here , and take care of USA business. That is not our war, not our country.

    December 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • Tom Tucker

      I'm an Atheist...but AMEN!!!!

      December 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply

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