January 11th, 2013
09:10 PM ET

Who is calling the shots on U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan after 2014?

Who's calling the shots? President Barck Obama, or Afghan President Hamid Karzai?

Obama's mixed messages as to when U.S. troops might come home from America's longest war in Afghanistan raise more questions.
Here's what Obama said today after meeting with Karzai in Washington:

"We've already reduced our presence in Afghanistan to roughly 66,000 U.S. troops. I've pledged we'll continue to bring our forces home at a steady pace. And in the coming months, I'll announce the next phase of our drawdown, a responsible drawdown that protects the gains our troops have made," Obama said.

The decision is "months away". Let's rewind just one month. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said then to troops in Kuwait: "The size of that enduring presence is something that the president is going to be considering over these next few weeks"

Weeks. Not months. Over a month ago.
So how about two months ago?

Speaking about the troop count decision - Secretary Panetta told reporters in November: "My hope is that we will be able to complete this process in the next few weeks."

Two months ago it was "weeks." Four weeks after that, still "weeks." And now, it's "months"?

OutFront tonight: CNN Contributors Roland Martin and Reihan Salam.

Filed under: Afghanistan
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