March 5th, 2013
02:21 PM ET

Top general wants more troops left in Afghanistan post-2014

By Barbara Starr

The top U.S. commander for the Afghanistan-Pakistan region has recommended to President Obama that 13,600 American troops stay in Afghanistan after 2014, a number that is potentially higher than what the administration wants to leave in the country.

At a NATO meeting in February, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said up to 12,000 troops could stay behind, but not all of those would be American troops necessarily. But Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Central Command, revealed the new recommendation to the Senate Armed Service Committee on Tuesday at a hearing.

Under an agreement between the Afghan government and NATO, the bulk of U.S. and NATO combat forces are to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. What remains to be decided is how many troops may remain to help train Afghan forces. Mattis also said he believes about 7,000 non-U.S. troops from the NATO alliance could also remain.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Timmy Ponting

    March 6, 2021 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  2. JohnParryJones

    The correct number is zero. After we leave a middle east country, it will revert to lawlessness. Fact. We can no longer afford to kid ourselves. We can no longer afford to be the world's policeman.

    March 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  3. Walter Siruk

    What the Top general wants is contrast to the order the Obama has given about the US troops leaving Afghanistan. Therefore, who of the two may be in the right. The answer may be found in THE ART OF WAR by Sun Tzu. For the ART OF WAR givesthe "Five essentials for victory." Point five reads "He will win who has the military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign."

    March 7, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
  4. maria garcia

    Bring all our troop home !!: our sons, our husbands, fathers,mothers,our boy friends, brothers, sisters, FRIENDS !
    .Please !! don't' leave anybody die in that country.
    That people don't want us stay there i YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND !!!!!!!

    March 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  5. anybody

    Bring all troops home, they don't want us there.

    March 6, 2013 at 8:59 am | Reply
  6. floridasboy

    With the advancement in drones due in the next 2 years, the need for troops in volatile regions is useless. Covert observations and special ops or aerial strikes are more effective. We are not there to make friends, remember!

    March 6, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
  7. Free Manin the Republic of Texas

    Leave troops ???

    Let's TELL Kim Jr.
    WHEN we are going to pull out of South Korea

    March 6, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  8. bob

    good thing G. Bush negotiated the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) with Iraq or war criminal obama would still have us there.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • LMarie

      war criminal obama? how long have you been serving in the armed forces to know such thing?

      March 6, 2013 at 3:50 am | Reply
  9. mtbeau

    During the Vietnam war, my First Sergeant said that it was not much of a war, but it is the best one we got! Is this where we are again?

    March 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • SJacob

      Bin Laden is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. His followers are not able to do much more than blowing up their own underwear. Such terrorists invoke laughter rather than fear. There wasn't another 9/11. That's pretty good progress.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
      • JohnParryJones

        So you don't believe there will be another 9/11? You are a naive fool.

        March 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  10. BrianG

    We have been fighting this war for over ten years, it's time to bring our troops home and save some of that war money for something useful.

    March 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • SJacob

      Absolutely right. The savings would be huge. Invest that money in the drone program and the payback would be impressive.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • We're in it to win it

      We cannot completely abandon Afghanistan again, no matter how painful the situation may be, that is the whole cause of the GWoT in the first place, that we abandoned the Afghanis and allowed the Taliban and their Al Qaeda partners to fill the vacuum.

      March 5, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • SJacob

        100% agree. Do not completely abandon. Leave plenty of drones there to take good care of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Make them behave themselves.

        March 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
      • You're Up

        I'm finishing up my third year here in the middle east, care to take my place? Or is this one of those "This is what we should do but I'm not going to participate" suggestions?

        March 6, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  11. Hahahahahahhaah

    Of course he does. That's how he gets paid. 1 is too many!!! Hahahahahahahahah

    March 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to mtbeau


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.