Inside Story

What does a US drawdown mean for Afghanistan?

After 13 years of war, Obama says it is not his responsibility to make Afghanistan a perfect place.

It is the longest running war in US history, and now President Barack Obama has outlined his plan to end US occupation in Afghanistan.

He announced that fewer than 10,000 troops will remain in Afghanistan by the end of this year and by 2017, gradually withdraw almost all but a small residual force.

But the country they are leaving behind is still far from stable; and once the run off election is held on June 14th, President Hamid Karzai’s replacement will have a difficult job ahead of him.

One of the biggest challenges will be the Taliban….with attempts to bring the fighters to the negotiating table having so far failed.

Two other challenges include corruption and the drug trade. And added to all that, Afghans now face a future with no foreign soldiers on their soil. And Obama is aware of those challenges. He says: “Afghanistan will not be a perfect place and it is not America’s responsibility to make it one.”

So what will this US troop withdrawal mean for the country and for the Afghan people?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Haseeb Humayoon – an Afghan political activist

Omar Samad – a former Afghanistan ambassador to France and Canada