Skip to main content

Obama strongly considers withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan in 2014

From Jessica Yellin, CNN Chief White House Correspondent
July 11, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
President Barack Obama is seriously considering withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan in 2014, an official tells CNN.
President Barack Obama is seriously considering withdrawing all troops from Afghanistan in 2014, an official tells CNN.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pentagon spokesman: U.S. believes it can work through issues with Afghanistan
  • Obama has grown increasingly frustrated in dealing with Afghan President Hamid Karzai
  • Until now, officials had been discussing plans to keep a small force in the country
  • If the U.S. pulls out all troops, it'll be a situation similar to that in Iraq

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama is seriously considering withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014, a senior administration official told CNN.

The official's comments came after The New York Times reported the administration was looking at speeding up the troop withdrawal to the "zero option," leaving no U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Until now, U.S. and Afghan officials had been discussing plans to keep a small force behind to fight insurgents and to train Afghan security personnel.

But Obama has, in recent months, grown increasingly frustrated in dealing with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Will U.S. run for exit in Afghanistan?
Obama: Troops will be home by end of '14

Their relationship soured further last month after the United States and the Taliban planned peace talks. In response, Karzai cut off negotiations with the United States on the residual troop presence post-2014.

A "zero option" has always been among the scenarios the United States envisioned. But the new revelation means that it could be a very possible one now.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said Tuesday that Obama has not made a decision on U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

"We are continuing discussions" with Afghanistan about carrying out post-combat missions, Little said. "We continue to work through issues," he said, adding, "We believe we can work through them."

If the United States pulls out all its troops, it will be a situation similar to that in Iraq.

The refusal by the Iraqi government to extend legal protections for U.S. troops after the end of the war in Iraq was a major reason the United States left the country with no residual military training force.

Karzai has said he would like for U.S. troops to remain after the end of the NATO mission. But he also has been highly critical of the troops over the years, following incidents in which U.S. forces have killed civilians.

CNN's Adam Levine contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1126 GMT (1926 HKT)
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0823 GMT (1623 HKT)
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 1325 GMT (2125 HKT)
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT