The Obama Administration has declined to set a deadline for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, arguing that the situation there is different from that of Iraq and 9/11 plotters are still holed up in the Af-Pak region and planning attack against the US.
“We have a different situation in Afghanistan. It is actually the place that -- Afghanistan and Pakistan -- where the folks who attacked us on 9/11 are holed up and plotting against us still,” David Axelrod, Senior Advisor to the US President, told the NBC news channel in an interview.
“It’s a threat that still exists. We have to deal with it and so it’s a wholly different situation. That’s a problem that still exists,” he said responding to the question should there be a deadline for troop withdrawal.
“The President will evaluate all the information that’s coming to him now. We have a series of benchmarks and review points set up and he’s going to make the hard judgements that need to be made,” Mr. Axelrod said.
The Senior Obama Advisor asserted that the Administration would keep its focus on what the mission is there, which is to disable and destroy Al Qaeda so they don’t threaten us any longer, and that’s the prism through which Mr. Obama will make his judgements.
“We have been in Afghanistan since 2001 when we were attacked by Al Qaeda who were posted there. That’s why we went. We drifted for a period of years where we had no strategy,” he said.