Obama Afghanistan Speech: US Troops To Continue War, But Partial Withdrawal Still Planned

Patrick Frye

President Obama's Afghanistan speech revealed that he wants to keep United States troops stationed in the country. However, a partial withdrawal will continue as originally planned.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, even though President Barack Obama made a special trip, Afghanistan president Karzai refused to meet with the US leader in Bagram. The cost of the Afghanistan war continues to require tens of billions of dollars per year, but over the long term the final cost could be much higher:

"[A]n additional $18 billion is being promised currently and it's possible that another $6 to $10 billion will be spent each year for years to come.... But how much will the Iraq and Afghanistan War cost in the long run? Last year, Harvard researchers considered that very question and they believe the long term cost will be $4 to $6 trillion. According to Linda J. Bilme, the cost of both wars was around $2 trillion already but the biggest cost will be providing ongoing medical care and disability benefits for America's veterans."
"America's commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure. After all the sacrifices we've made, we want to preserve the gains that you have helped to win and we're going to make sure that Afghanistan can never again, ever, be used again to launch an attack against our country. For many of you, this will be your last tour in Afghanistan. America's war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end."

It's possible that these plans may be in jeopardy since Karzai previously refused to sign a bilateral security agreement and, as mentioned before, Karzai refused to meet with Obama. Regardless, Afghanistan is currently holding presidential elections so a new Afghan president may choose differently. Either way, financially the United States has committed $15 billion in 2014 to reconstruction efforts, which amounts to 75 percent of Afghanistan's GDP.

[Image via National Geographic]