Afghanistan 'surge' ends quietly

Did it accomplish anything? USA Today: Very quietly, the surge of troops into Afghanistan that President Obama announced to such fanfare in late 2009 is now over. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today that 33,000 troops have been withdrawn, calling the Afghan surge "a very important milestone" in a war the Obama administration is winding down; there are sill 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The "surge did accomplish it objectives of reversing the Taliban momentum on the battlefield and dramatically increase the size and capability of the Afghan national security forces," Panetta said. The U.S. and its allies plan to turn over all security responsibilities to the Afghans in 2014. Panetta made his announcement while on a trip to New Zealand. President Obama has not yet commented specifically on the end of the surge, but told a fundraiser last night: "I said we would begin winding down our commitments in Afghanistan and make sure that Afghans are taking responsibility for...(Read Full Post)