Combat mission over in Afghanistan by year's end, Obama says - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Combat mission over in Afghanistan by year's end, Obama says

Posted: Updated:
Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year. (Source: CNN) Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year. (Source: CNN)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • UN leader begins term during period of 'tumult'

    UN leader begins term during period of 'tumult'

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:52:18 GMT
    The new president of the U.N. General Assembly says the year ahead will be momentous for the United Nations as it marks its 70th anniversary. He says his priority will be to ensure agreement on new U.N. goals that...More >>
    The new president of the U.N. General Assembly says the year ahead will be momentous for the United Nations as it marks its 70th anniversary. He says his priority will be to ensure agreement on new U.N. goals that fight...More >>
  • Obama: Ebola outbreak a threat to global security

    Obama: Ebola outbreak a threat to global security

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:34:11 GMT
    The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to...More >>
    Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a threat to world security, President Barack Obama on Tuesday broadly expanded the U.S. response by ordering thousands of troops to the region along with an aggressive effort to...More >>
  • Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

    Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:33 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:33:53 GMT
    A weakening Tropical Storm Odile pushed up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula early Tuesday, dumping heavy rains that could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides but also a potential boon to the...More >>
    The Mexican government began airlifting the first of thousands of stranded tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos on Tuesday, as residents picked up the pieces of shattered, flooded homes.More >>

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - After more than 12 years of war, President Barack Obama has announced a new plan to wrap up America's military involvement in Afghanistan.

It calls for thousands of U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond the end of this year.

But, only if the Afghan government cooperates.

Declaring the combat mission in Afghanistan over by the end of the year, Obama laid out the final chapter for the nation's longest war.

"The bottom line is, it's time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

Beyond 2014, a small, residual force will be limited to training Afghan fighters and counter-terror operations.

Under the president's plan there will be just 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan next year.

And about half that by 2016.

And embassy security only in the Afghan capital as Obama prepares to leave office.

Obama's proposal stops short of the full withdrawal he promised voters in 2012.

"We will have them all out of there by 2014," he said then.

But worried about a repeat of the bloodshed that followed the pullout from Iraq, U.S. military commanders pushed for a minimum of 10,000 troops.

And that plan, the top general in Afghanistan cautioned, won't be perfect.

"There would be an increased risk," said Gen. Joseph Dunford.

In a statement, three key GOP senators called the president's plan "a monumental mistake and a triumph of politics over strategy."

The White House proposal hinges on a new security agreement with Afghan leaders.

Afghanistan's current President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign it, leaving it to the two men vying to replace him to seal the deal.

"The two final Afghan candidates in the runoff election for president have each indicated that they would sign this (agreement) after taking office. So I'm hopeful we can get this done," Obama said.

Without that security agreement, White House officials stress there will be no troops in Afghanistan after the end of this year.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.