Home / DoD / DoD’s Top Policy Official: Troop Withdrawals ‘Not a Rush to the Exits’

DoD’s Top Policy Official: Troop Withdrawals ‘Not a Rush to the Exits’

Michele Flournoy, DoD; Photo: Defense.gov

The Defense Department’s top policy official, Michele Flournoy, said President Barack Obama’s announcement of a troop withdrawal over the 14 months is a continuation of a policy of troop surge he initiated in 2009.

In a primetime address Wednesday night, Obama announced that 33,000 U.S. troops, about the same number of troops committed there in the 2009 surge, will return by September 2012.

Of that, some 10,000 troops will return by the end of the year.

Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told the House Armed Services Committee that Obama was “true to his word” in the announcement of the troop withdrawals, because even after the 33,000 service members return home, about 68,000 troops will remain in Afghanistan, Flournoy said.

“That’s more than twice the number as when President Obama took office,” she said. “Clearly, this is not a ‘rush to the exits’ that will jeopardize our security gains.”

Flournoy characterized the troop withdrawals as part of a “transition process,” that will ultimately allow Afghan security forces to stand up.

Flournoy testified before the committee along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

Mullen had acknowledged, though, that Obama’s decisions were “more aggressive and incur more risk,” than he was initially prepared to accept, he told the panel.

Check Also

GAO: Air Force to Deploy New Combat Rescue Helicopters to Active Component by FY 2020

The Government Accountability Office has found that the U.S. Air Force intends to start fielding in fiscal 2020 new Combat Rescue Helicopters to replace aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters that have recorded the most flight time when it comes to staff recovery missions. GAO said in a report published Thursday the service will initially deploy the new helicopters to the active component six years ahead of the reserve component and to the Air National Guard by 2027.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *