Up & Coming Weekly

October 27, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1303741

Contents of this Issue


Page 8 of 24

8 UCW OCTOBER 28-NOVEMBER 3, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien says that some 2,500 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond Christmas, seeking to clarify a series of mixed messages from senior Trump administration officials and dismiss- ing a tweet from the president last week. He also took a direct shot at Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, who in an NPR interview appeared to suggest that a previous announce- ment by O'Brien about the withdrawal plan was only "speculation," without any real authority behind it. "It has been suggested by some that that's speculation. I can guarantee you that's the plan of the president of the United States," O'Brien said. "at's the order of the commander-in- chief, that's not speculation." e re-announcement during an online appearance at the Aspen Institute capped off a week of contradictory messages that began with O'Brien announcing earlier that U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan would fall to 2,500 in early 2021. e Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. Trump tweeted that all U.S. troops "should" be home by Christmas. e contra- dictory announcements caught the Pentagon, Afghanistan and allies by sur- prise. Two days later, Milley told NPR that "Robert O'Brien or anyone else can speculate as they see fit" about troop levels. O'Brien reiterated that the U.S. intends to draw down to 2,500 troops in early 2021. Asked directly about the contradictory answers, O'Brien said that Trump's tweet was merely expressing wishes of any wartime president. "He was express- ing the same desire that every president since the Revolutionary War," he said. All presidents, all GIs, want the troops home by Christmas," he added. "We're on a path right now that looks like about 4,500 this fall and a smaller number in January or February." Another complicating factor is Trump's chances of reelection, a prospect O'Brien called "tough" even as he listed the adminis- tration's foreign policy goals and plans for the next four years. In past presidential transitions since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, the incumbent deferred major troop move- ment changes to the incoming commander in chief. O'Brien was asked about the adminis- tration's mixed messages on Afghanistan war troop withdrawals by Financial Times' Edward Luce. O'Brien suggested that it was Milley, not he, who spoke without the authority of the president behind him. Over the past six months, the U.S. reduced the number of its troops in Afghanistan to about 8,600, in accordance with a deal bro- kered with the Taliban and signed in February. at deal foresaw the immediate drawdown from 14,000 to 8,600 troops by the summer, and a complete U.S. with- drawal within 14 months if the Taliban lived up to their end of it. Officials previ- ously have said that the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan would be down to between 4,000 and 5,000 troops around November. Trump has made it clear that he wants U.S. soldiers out of Afghanistan, saying that they are acting as "police" in the war-torn country. NEWS U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan continues by JEFF THOMPSON JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division secure their location in preparation for the extraction of senior Afghan and Coalition military leaders following a key leader engagement in southeast- ern Afghanistan in December 2019. (Photo by Master Sgt. Alejan- dro Licea, courtesy DVIDS.) PATRIOTS ASSOCIATION ALL AMERICAN Present PATRIOTIC DAY CELEBRATION November 14 2020 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. • Doors Open 11 a.m. Celebrating Freedom, America and our Veterans! November 14 2020 12 p.m. - 11 p.m. • Doors Open 11 a.m. Celebrating Freedom, America and our Veterans! FOOD • FUN • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT FOOD • FUN • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT 4104 RAEFORD RD, FAYETTEVILLE, NC 28304 LIVE MUSIC Bounce House • Childrens play area Local Business Vendors • Food Trucks Galore All Veteran Parachute Team • Patriotic Traditions & Education Program and Demonstration For more information contact Franco Webb 910-237-8492 Thanking our Veterans! Thanking our Veterans! WIN! $25,000 BIG DOG CHOPPER! $10 per Raffle Ticket Special Guests: Rep. John Szoka Rep. Billy Richardson City Chris Davis Councilmen Johnny Dawkins AGRI BUILDERS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - October 27, 2020