For a third time, the campaign promise made by Team Obama/Biden during the 2012 presidential race has been matter-of-factly relegated to the dustbin of politics as usual. While Joe Biden’s promise to the American people that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan, in Biden’s words, “We are leaving in 2014. Period,” the truth of the matter is that particular Democratic Party talking point has proven itself to be a blatant lie.
For the third time since Obama/Biden promised such, it’s come to light that the “Out in ’14” deception is just that. As reported by the Associated Press on Jan. 30, 2016, “‘I don’t see any drawdowns’ in the near future, said James Dobbins, Obama’s former special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He predicted that Obama would leave the decision to the next president.”
But going back to a report by the Bloomberg news service on March 24, 2015, reporter David J. Lynch nuanced the just released announcement that the Obama Administration will “slow the withdrawal” of the remaining thousands of American troops still in Afghanistan. At the time, a full three months into 2015, nearly 10,000 American troops, roughly the size of two Marine Brigades, remained in-country.
Almost seven months later the New York Times report on Oct. 15, 2015, that Obama told the nation and the world that instead of a “slow withdrawal,” 9,800 US troops would remain in Afghanistan through 2016. Furthering the proof of the 2012 campaign promise was in fact a lie, Obama also made clear that after leaving the Oval Office in January of 2017 there will still be 5,500 of our troops in-country.
Ostensibly, the American troops would be engaged in training mission of Afghan troops and police officers. Also not getting much press was the announcement that US troops would also be involved in a active combat mission against a growing ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Taliban resurgence.
However, not much ink is being spilled regarding Team Obama’s vow during the 2012 campaign to be completely out of Afghanistan by 2014. As seen on the Youtube video of the Oct. 11, 2012 Vice Presidential Debate between incumbent Vice President Joe Biden and challenger Rep. Paul Ryan, the Veep matter-of-factly stated, “That’s why with 49 of our allies in Afghanistan, we’ve agreed on a gradual drawdown so we’re out of there by the year 20 — in the year 2014. My friend [Rep. Ryan] and the governor [Mitt Romney] say it’s based on conditions, which means it depends. It does not depend for us… but we are leaving. We are leaving in 2014. Period.”
Scooping the Western press, Satur C. Ocampo of The Philippine Star reported on Nov. 29, 2014, “What of Afghanistan? Obama has reneged on his promised troop pullout by end-December 2014. He has authorized 9,800 US troops, along with 3,000 NATO soldiers, to stay until 2015 to carry out combat missions against ‘militant groups.'” Interestingly enough, reporters Kay Johnson and Mirwais Harooni of Reuters gave a somewhat softer example of journalism on Nov. 30, 2014 when they reported that only that a “few thousand” American combat forces would remain in-country past 2014. Johnson and Harooni made no mention of the 2012 campaign promise to have all American troops withdrawn.
With the announcement by Obama of the lengthening of the American combat mission in Afghanistan, the time in the Afghan theater of war will be at least 14-years long. Nine of those years will be under Obama’s watch.
During the course of Coalition combat operations, almost three times more Americans have died in Afghanistan under Obama than during the Bush years. As cited by iCasualties.org, during the Bush years there were:
- 1,049 Coalition combat deaths.
- 630 of those were Americans.
Under Obama’s watch there have been:
- 2,466 Coalition deaths.
- 1,751 of those were American.