President Obama speaks on Afghanistan drawdown

Jeremy Hobson May 2, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: America’s role in the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s the word from President Obama, who said last night during his speech in Kabul, Afghanistan that the goal is for Afghan forces to lead combat operations by next year.

Barack Obama: Last year we removed 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan; another 23,000 will leave by the end of the summer. After that, reductions will continue at a steady pace with more and more of our troops coming home. 

As for cost savings from the planned drawdown?

Well, we asked Mark Jacobson, a former NATO representative in Afghanistan who’s now a fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He says, sure, the U.S. will save money on combat operations…

Mark Jacobson: …but it’s also going to cost a significant amount of money to bring our troops out and bring their equipment out. So I don’t expect that we’re going to see some sort of savings spike that could be reinvested within the Department of Defense, much less the rest of the federal government.

As of last year — according to the Congressional Research Service — the total cost ten years of war in Afghanistan has been $443 billion.

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