US President Barack Obama on Monday said that he’ll know by the end of 2010 if his Afghan strategy is working and the conditions on the ground at that time would determine the pace of troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“We will know by the end of December 2010 whether or not the approach that General McChrystal (top US commander in Afghanistan) has discussed in terms of securing population centres is meeting its objectives,” Obama said.
“And if the approach that’s been recommended doesn’t work then yes we’re gonna be changing approaches,” he said.
Early this month, Obama announced sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan into the eight-year-old war, which he said was one of the most difficult decisions of his presidency.
“What I have said is that we then start transitioning into a draw-down phase. The pace of that drawdown, how many US troops are coming out, how quickly, what the slope is of that drawdown will be determined by conditions on the ground,” Obama said in an interview to CBS news.
“We are gonna be making consistent assessments to make sure that as we are standing up Afghan troops, that we are replacing US troops or ally troops, and we’re not gonna do it in a precipitous way that in any way endangers our troops or endangers the progress that we’ve made,” he said.
“But we will have signalled the fact that increasingly we are turning over responsibility for Afghanistan to the Afghans,” Obama said.