Report: Afghanistan Not Ready for Troop Withdrawal

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• October 9, 2012 11:48 am


President Barack Obama touted the military’s exit from Afghanistan as a big foreign policy achievement, but Afghanistan is far from ready for troops to withdraw.

A report by the International Crisis Group says "Afghanistan is far from ready to assume responsibility for security when U.S. and NATO forces withdraw in 2014."

First reported by Voice of America, the report says that "factionalism and corruption" plague the fledgling state. The report raises the specter of a constitutional crisis if fraud and corruption mars the upcoming elections.

Obama has hailed the exit from Afghanistan as the accomplishment of a campaign promise and he has attacked his challenger for arguing to keep troops there longer. Obama said at a campaign event in the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles on Monday:

And an opponent who calls me ending the war in Iraq "tragic," or suggests that somehow we should stay longer in Afghanistan has a very different world view, different perspective.

Just yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave a major foreign policy address in which he likened the struggle in Afghanistan to the rest of the Arab Spring, calling it a fight "for liberty."

Voice of America also reported "the outgoing head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan said the country's armed conflict has worsened for civilians."

All of the remaining presidential campaign debates, including the vice presidential debate, will address foreign policy. The last presidential debate will be dedicated entirely to the issue.