America at War

July 23, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 26
Can withdrawal from Afghanistan begin next July?
By Peter Katel


A U.S. Marine prays before going on patrol (AFP/Getty Images/Patrick Baz)
A U.S. Marine prays before going on patrol in search of Taliban insurgents in Trikh Nawar, a poppy farming area near Marjah in Afghanistan's war-torn Helmand Province, on Feb. 17, 2010. (AFP/Getty Images/Patrick Baz)

Americans' discontent over the war in Iraq helped propel Barack Obama into the White House. U.S. forces now are preparing to leave Iraq next year, but they may remain in Afghanistan longer than many Obama supporters had hoped. In recent weeks, heavy resistance has delayed anti-Taliban operations. At the same time, relations between the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai remain tense, partly because of U.S. worries over corruption in his government. Overall, Afghanistan is proving a bigger challenge than Obama might have anticipated when he said a military surge now under way would be followed by a troop “drawdown” in July 2011. Meanwhile, Gen. David Petraeus, who replaced Gen. Stanley McChrystal as Afghanistan commander, said the drawdown will be gradual — and could even be postponed. Petraeus also said a potential new agreement could stretch out the Iraqi pullout deadline as well. Republicans generally back Obama's military commitments, but some Democrats are getting anxious.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
America's Image Abroad
Jul. 23, 2010  America at War Updated
Mar. 2007  Anti-Americanism
Feb. 02, 2007  Rethinking Foreign Policy
Nov. 23, 2001  Hating America
Sep. 11, 1981  America's Information Effort Abroad
Apr. 13, 1964  Anti-Americanism Abroad
Apr. 26, 1961  American Propaganda in Foreign Countries
Jul. 03, 1957  Anti-Americanism and Soldiers Overseas
Middle East Conflicts