No Bluff: U.S. Planning Possible Withdrawal Of All Troops From A - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

No Bluff: U.S. Planning Possible Withdrawal Of All Troops From Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
Washington (CNN) -- We're not bluffing, the Obama administration told Afghanistan on Tuesday in announcing for the first time it has started planning for the possible withdrawal of all U.S. troops by the end of the year if no security agreement is signed.

Statements by the White House and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel showed President Barack Obama's impatience with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign the agreement that would keep several thousand American troops in the country after combat operations conclude this year.

In a phone call with Karzai on Tuesday to discuss upcoming elections for a new Afghan leader, Obama made clear that time was running out to properly plan for keeping any U.S. forces in the country beyond 2014, the White House said.

Obama calling

"President Obama has asked the Pentagon to ensure that it has adequate plans in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014," said the White House statement.

It also noted that a deal remained possible with a new Afghan leader even if Karzai fails to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement before the April election chooses his successor.

History not repeating itself in Afghanistan

"Should we have a BSA and a willing and committed partner in the Afghan government, a limited post-2014 mission focused on training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces and going after the remnants of core al Qaeda could be in the interests of the United States and Afghanistan," the White House said. "Therefore, we will leave open the possibility of concluding a BSA with Afghanistan later this year."

In his separate statement, Hagel said he strongly supported the order by Obama to "ensure adequate plans are in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014."

Pakistani official: Don't do it

A senior Pakistani government official told CNN that a full withdrawal of U.S. troops should not be considered, declaring that "the zero option means civil war in Afghanistan."

Speaking on condition of not being identified, the Pakistani official predicted that 30% of Afghan forces would desert if U.S. forces leave the country.

For the Pentagon, Obama's order means preparing for all contingencies.

"For the first time, the commander in chief has told us to begin planning for a complete withdrawal" from Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

While the option to keep troops there remains, the situation has reached a point where the Pentagon has to begin planning for all possibilities, the official added.

More than 33,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan as the Obama administration winds down the almost 13-year war that began shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The security agreement negotiated between Afghanistan and the United States would cover a continuing mission after 2014 focused on training Afghan forces and counter-terrorism.

Pentagon: If freed Afghan prisoners return to fight, they're 'legitimate targets'

Afghan presidential contender says he'll sign if elected

While Karzai has balked at signing, a leading contender to succeed him told CNN's Christiane Amanpour this month that the agreement should proceed.

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah said he would sign the deal to keep international forces in Afghanistan, and aid dollars flowing, if elected in April.

Abdullah said Afghanistan will need the financial and military support of the international community "for years to come."

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that that longer it takes for security agreement to get signed, the more difficult it will be to properly plan and carry out a U.S. mission after 2014.

Continued delay would result in a smaller and less ambitious mission, Carney said. Asked what happens if no agreement gets signed, he said: "We cannot and will not have U.S. troops on the ground" without a signed deal.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    PHOTOS: Hobo Spider season has arrived

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:37:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.>>
    KHQ.COM - Mid August is about the time that we start to see spiders come into our homes, particularly the hobo spider. August and September is mating season for the hobo and that means you may be seeing more funnel-like webs in and around your home. Males are on a mission to find a female which is why they are a lot more active at this time.
    >>
  • PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful. 


    >>
  • Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:50:23 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. >>
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Suspected gunman manages to elude police after hospital lockdown

    Suspected gunman manages to elude police after hospital lockdown

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-08-30 06:13:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- A suspected gunman managed to elude police Friday night after a chase that took officers from the Rite Aid on N. Division to Holy Family Hospital on E. Rowan. It all started around 7:30pm Friday night, when police say a man was seen trying to steal items from the Rite Aid.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- A suspected gunman managed to elude police Friday night after a chase that took officers from the Rite Aid on N. Division to Holy Family Hospital on E. Rowan. It all started around 7:30pm Friday night, when police say a man was seen trying to steal items from the Rite Aid. >>
  • Detached garage goes up in flames

    Detached garage goes up in flames

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-08-30 06:13:05 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane fire investigators are looking into what caused a detached garage to catch fire Friday night. It happened around 9:30pm at a home near the intersection of East Rowan and North Magnolia. Fire crews had the fire under control about 15 minutes after they arrived on scene, and by 10:00pm the fire was completely out.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane fire investigators are looking into what caused a detached garage to catch fire Friday night. It happened around 9:30pm at a home near the intersection of East Rowan and North Magnolia. Fire crews had the fire under control about 15 minutes after they arrived on scene, and by 10:00pm the fire was completely out.
    >>
  • Scammers pretend to be the IRS

    Scammers pretend to be the IRS

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:00:56 GMT
    It was Ben Franklin said in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes, but it looks like you can add scammers to that saying. Every year, people pretend to be the IRS to swindle people out of their money. >>
    It was Ben Franklin said in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes, but it looks like you can add scammers to that saying. Every year, people pretend to be the IRS to swindle people out of their money. >>