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The U.S. Marines Corps is to leave, group by group, from southern Afghanistan, the land of Taliban, by 2012.
Although the Taliban movement in southern Afghanistan is still confirmed to be a danger to the government, inferences suggest that 10,000 or more troops are expected to leave the country. Helmand was reported to currently hold 19,400 Marines, but next year, the number is to be decreased to 18,500 troops.
General James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, revealed some important information and made comments in an exclusive interview with Associated Press.
Amos commented on the decision to move the Marines out of Taliban. “Am I OK with that? The answer is ‘yes.’ We can’t stay in Afghanistan forever,” he said.
In a 2008 campaign, Obama promised Americans to have the Marine Corps out of Afghanistan and back home, but in 2009, he sent another 30,000 troops there, of which 10,000 were from the Marine Corps.
Obama commanded Marine General John Allen to send 10,000 Marine troops back home by the end of the year and 23,000 more by next year in 2012.
Allen stated that security in Afghanistan has gotten stronger and more stable now than in the past. “The Afghan national security forces are better than they thought they were, and they’re better than we thought they were,” he said in an interview.
Major General John Toolan is doubtful that next year will be the best year to focus on the eastern part of Afghanistan and to pull out the Marine Corps from Helmand.
Stephen Biddle, a defense analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations, stated that there is a risk in placing the citizens of the country to take charge independently as soon as next year. “It’s a dilemma with no obvious solution to it,” he stated in a Washington interview.
*Quotes & statistical numbers were extracted from Huffington Post article, “Marines To Wind Down Combat in 2012.”*