March 24, 2015

Afghan president unlikely to sway Obama on troop drawdown

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will visit the White House on Tuesday to make the case for keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but analysts say President Obama is unlikely to budge on ending U.S. involvement in 2016.

There are currently about 10,000 U.S. service members deployed to AfghanistanNora Bensahel, a scholar at American University, said she expected the president to agree to keep the presence at its current level past December, when the U.S. force was supposed to shrink to 5,500 service members.

But Mr. Ghani has also expressed a need for troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2016 — a line Mr. Obama likely won’t want to cross, Ms. Bensahel said.

“I think that will be a very difficult political decision for him,” she said. “He made very clear throughout his presidency that he wants to be president who ends both long wars during his term.”

Read the full article at The Washington Times.



  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...