00:39 GMT +329 March 2017
    President Barack Obama talks with Col. Dave Siegrist, right, as they walk to Air Force One.

    Obama Ignores Advice of Military Generals More Than Any Other US President

    © AP Photo/ Kevin Wolf
    Get short URL

    President Obama’s decision to keep US troops in Afghanistan beyond his presidency angered many who were expecting a complete withdrawal. But Pentagon officials were also outraged, as the decision marked the sixth time the Obama administration ignored the advice of his own military experts.

    Despite running on a campaign to end America’s wars abroad, President Obama announced earlier this month that the US would keep 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016. Naturally, the announcement didn’t sit well with Obama’s base, but it also frustrated his critics.

    Given the still volatile situation in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials had fought to at least maintain current troop levels of 9,800.

    "The security situation in Afghanistan is so far from stable that to pull out all the troops, even for this president, doesn’t make any sense," retired Army Gen. John Keane, who regularly advises the US Congress on security matters, told the Washington Times.

    And this isn’t the first time Obama has risked national security by ignoring the advice of his generals.

    "Quite unprecedented, this is the sixth time President Obama has not listened to a field commander recommendation on force levels for troops in combat," Keane added.

    In the past, the president has also rejected the advice his chief of US Central Command, Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, who wanted to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq. Obama also ignored advice on four other instances relating to Afghanistan troop levels.

    Keane is concerned that insufficient personnel will make it difficult for soldiers to train Afghan forces – ostensibly one of the sole reasons for an American presence in the country.

    "What suffers as a result of this decision is the train-and-assist mission, because we won’t have sufficient troops to do it properly," he said.

    While Keane maintains that Army Gen. John Campbell, the leading NATO commander in Afghanistan, had requested the troop level to remain at 9,800, the administration denies this. On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the decision was “consistent” with Campbell’s advice.

    While the Obama administration appears to have split the difference between its base and its neocons, the US will likely be embroiled in the Middle East for decades to come.


    Operation Haymaker in Afghanistan Killed 100s of Unintended Targets
    ISIL Spread to Afghanistan Connects Middle East, South Asia Threats
    US Army Needed in Afghanistan 'for Some Time' - Former NATO Secretary Gen
    US troop withdrawal, us troops in afghanistan, troop withdrawal, Pentagon, John Campbell, Lloyd Austin, John Keane, Barack Obama, Iraq, Afghanistan, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      While the Obama administration appears to have split the difference between its base and its neocons, the US will likely be embroiled in the Middle East for decades to come.
      Some of these Sputnik articles are like neocon pep rallies. The US is going to be pushed out of the ME in 5 years.
    • The worst POTUS ever. He's totally the opposite of what he campaigned for. A war criminal POS that's responsible for millions of innocent Middle Eastern deaths and over 25 million peoples lives turned upside down. And I thought Bush was bad.
    • in reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, it's already happening, the Terrorists have run away from the Persian Gulf. And I agree about the writer too.
    • avatar
      Eudoxiain reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, I think the way this is going the US will be pushed out of the ME a lot sooner than 5 years. They are on their last legs now.
    • avatar
      Senility brought on by A.I.D.S. Obama is suffering from his early years as a gay swinger in Chicago.
    Show new comments (0)