July 19th, 2010
08:07 AM ET

Biden: Withdrawal may start with 'couple of thousand troops'

As few as "a couple of thousand" U.S. troops may leave Afghanistan in the first phase of withdrawing forces from there beginning a year from now, Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"It could be as few as a couple of thousand troops; it could be more," Biden told ABC's "This Week."

Asked about a book that quotes him as saying the troop withdrawal would start with "a whole lot of people" leaving Afghanistan, Biden confirmed the comment but said he was responding to an assertion that there might be no withdrawal at all at that time.

"I did say it," Biden acknowledged, calling the July 2011 withdrawal date "the beginning of a transition" based on the ability of Afghanistan forces to provide security around the country.

Noting there will be more than 100,000 U.S. troops there a year from now, Biden said the situation would be assessed across Afghanistan and troop withdrawals would begin where circumstances allow.

At the same time, Biden called the process of training Afghanistan security forces to take over for U.S. forces as "painfully slow and difficult." However, "there will be a transition," he insisted.

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Filed under: Troops
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. cindi

    Oh, I see. Our president did promise us that he would be sending troops home in July 2011. Even though its going to be a few thousand. See, he's not lying now is he? Those are just troops coming back from rotation.

    July 19, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David Sims

    To keep it clean and clear!
    US Troops won't be leaving Afghanistan for the next 6 years at least !!!

    but in my point of view, at least 70k US Troops will be in Afghanistan for the next 20 years 😉


    July 19, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      I'm afraid you're right,knowing how these right-wing politicians operate.

      July 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jacqueline

    If you never intended to actually pull the troops out, then don't lie. I certainly understand that you don't just load everyone at the same time on a plane and bring them home from a war zone. Everyone left would be killed if those "trained to take over" weren't ready. But stop blowing smoke up the American's butts. We should have butt hole lung cancer from all of this smoke. Stop telling lies!

    July 19, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Do you honestly think they will,Jacqueline?I don't!

      July 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ernie Beatty

    Why should we withdraw any?We need to keep them in there as long as necessary to achieve a military victory and forget about pleasing the liberals!

    July 19, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I'm with you all the way,Ernie!!! YABA_DABA_DOOO!!!

      July 19, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Mustang6

      Are you willing to be one of those you propose to keep in there? If you are, then I commend you and will probably see you over there. If not, I suggest you reconsider your flippant remark and focus on the cost of American lives versus political appeasement.

      July 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • manda

      I think the public forgets that the Iraq war and the Afghan war are two very different beasts. The fight is different, the mission is different, the terrain is different, and the people are different. It took us seven years of heavy fighting in Iraq to have good footing in the country. We've only been in Afghanistan for less than two years of hard, supported battle. A war wages on until a balance is achieved, and to me, the balance is not there. Not with number of deaths soaring higher and higher each month. I'm in the USAF and have done a tour in each theater.

      The people who need us now, will not need us any less in a year from now.

      July 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |