US divided over Afghan army withdrawal plan?

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Barack Obama
Washington, Jun 24: Is US administration divided over its plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan? The latest reports suggest that the United States President Barack Obama rejected his military commander's advice for a more modest reduction plan.

The US military commanders General David Petraeus and Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that President had rejected their advice. According to them Obama's plan to withdraw all 33,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the summer of 2012 was more "aggressive".

Even though they were not happy with Obama's plan, Army Generals refused to resign over the war policy.

"I don't think it's the place for the commander to consider that kind of step unless you are in a very, very dire situation," Petraeus said.

"This is an important decision, it is again a more aggressive approach than the chairman (Admiral Mullen), (Central Command chief General James) Mattis and I would have, indeed certainly, put forward. But this is not something where one hangs up the uniform in protest or something like that," he added.

The new reports came amid the political rivals' criticism on Obama for his "aggressive" announcement. Critics accused that Obama approved the withdrawal plan for political motives ahead of presidential elections in 2012.

Earlier on Jun 22, Obama announced the plan to withdraw all American troops from Afghan by 2012, beginning with an initial drawdown of 10,000 surge forces by 2011 end.

"Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer, fully recovering the surge I announced at West Point (in December 2009)," Obama said in a nationally televised speech from the White House.

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