Obama’s words hang over his former vice president’s Afghanistan withdrawal decision

Former President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan strategy and rhetoric are haunting President Joe Biden’s move to end the longest war in U.S. history by September.

Biden’s former boss in 2009 surged thousands of additional troops at the Afghanistan crisis, vowing to be resolved about what remains an elusive clear victory. Even late in his second term, though Obama wanted to leave, he explained his decision to keep forces there in a July 2016 speech, canceling plans to cut U.S. troops there from 8,400 to around 5,000 by stating the higher force level would “allow us to continue to provide tailored support to help Afghan forces continue to improve.” He called the Taliban’s territorial and political gains a “threat.”

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