Rift Widens Over How to End U.S. Role in Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit to Afghanistan this week prompted contradictory reports about both the war's progress and the likelihood for an accelerated troop withdrawal.

Some observers said President Barack Obama's security team was now considering the option of a swift pullout. Others quoted Gates as saying it's too early to end combat. Meanwhile, a U.S. general touted success in training Afghan forces just as Congress released a report criticizing the Afghan nation-building program.

Joshua Foust, a fellow and Afghanistan specialist with the American Security Project, tells Trend Lines that the conflicting reports are best explained by a widening rift between the U.S. military and Washington lawmakers over when and how to end the war. "There's definitely a debate over the proportionality of the withdrawal," he says. "Right now, in a lot of ways, it's getting exaggerated and misstated as people try to push their own agendas."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.