A Change in Course for Afghanistan?

Ashton Carter nomination

Defense Secretary Nominee Ashton Carter writes he would “reconsider” the military plan in Afghanistan.



You wouldn’t guess it from the outside looking in, but the confirmation process for most cabinet positions is pretty standard fare. Once a nominee gets in front of a congressional committee, both sides pretty much know all there is to know about each other. Part of this process includes filling out a questionnaire created by committee members for them to get to know the nominee before the nomination hearing.


President Obama’s nominee to be the next Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, recently filled out his questionnaire and his take when it came to military involvement in Afghanistan sparked some conversation.


Originally reported by the Associated Press, Carter says in the congressional questionnaire that he would reconsider the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan if conditions worsen as the year goes on. This comes after concerns from many military experts that believe Islamic State militants – such as ISIS and al-Qaida – will try to expand their reach into Afghanistan and local forces in the region may not be able to stave-off such an onslaught. Many like Sen. John McCain (Republican from Arizona) have questioned the Obama administration’s deadline of full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, with many military commanders chiming in that they would have preferred a more ambiguous date.


Carter’s nomination hearing is scheduled for this Wednesday and it’s almost certain that the topic of Afghanistan will come up. With the majority of the US public supporting quick troop withdrawal out of Afghanistan, but many within the intelligence community touting that US military presence is necessary for the region’s stability, this is one topic that Carter will have to deliberate on if he is to become Defense Secretary.



(Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov)


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