U.s. President Barack Obama

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Well, it is official. Thousands of American soldiers will stay on in Afghanistan after 2016. US President Barack Obama halted the troop drawdown on October 15 because “Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be.” This major policy U-turn means US combat forces will stay 9800 strong throughout 2016 and reduce to 5500 men by the time Obama leaves office. This was not the plan. The plan was to keep an embassy-level force behind after 2016, or around 1000 men. The Taliban seizing Kunduz briefly in September ruined this plan, or so says the White House. Contrarian news sources, however, are pitching more sinister reasons for the about-face. They say the CIA persuaded Obama to stay camped in Afghanistan for financial reasons. The spy agency allegedly traffics Afghan heroin valued in the billions to bankroll its covert operations around the world. Add to that Afghanistan’s one trillion dollars worth of proven gas and mineral reserves and you can see why Washington insiders are keen to continue this “profit-driven resource war,” says Prof Michel Chossudovsky from the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). Normally, you would dismiss such talk as conspiratorial mumbo-jumbo, but the tactical futility of Obama’s decision raises many questions. For one, nothing will change on the ground. This is not a surge. American forces will keep to their training and advisory role. Of course, if 9800 American soldiers could not prevent Kunduz from falling in September, how
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