Certainly wouldn’t go on first hand experience…..
President Obama will consider the “input” of General John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, as Obama is presented with options for revising his 2016 troop withdrawal plan.
“But it’s not the only input the president will receive as he makes this decision,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ll also take into account the views and preferences of our NATO allies who have also played an important role in carrying out the missions,” Earnest said.
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Gen. Campbell said he was providing “options” to the president to scale back the current troop withdrawal plan, given the flow of fighters, including Islamic State and al Qaeda terrorists, into Afghanistan.
“Can you give us at least a sense of which way the president would be leaning on this issue?” a reporter asked Earnest.
“I would resist the urge to speculate on that,” Earnest replied.
“What the future presence looks like and what our future strategy will be in Afghanistan will be determined by a variety of things,” he explained.
“The first is, conditions on the ground. What kind of progress has been made toward securing that country? What threats remain? What sort of assistance can the United States provide to the Afghan people, to the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces as they try to provide for that security. And the president’s decision will be driven by those conditions on the ground and what our longer term strategy is there.
“The president will certainly take into account the recommendations that are provided by General Campbell. General Campbell is obviously seeing first-hand the challenges that are faced there.
“But the president will also take input from his diplomatic team, from the intelligence community. He’ll take input from the civilian leadership at the Pentagon as they all offer their advice to craft a strategy for moving forward inside of Afghanistan.
“We’ll also take into account the views and preferences of our NATO allies who have also played an important role in carrying out the missions that I’ve described. So, there’s a variety of factors that are taken into account here.