Pentagon: Early exit for combat troops in Afghanistan

The United States has made the surprise announcement that it will end combat operations in Afghanistan earlier than expected. Many believe the Obama Administration has finally given in to political pressure ahead of this year's presidential election.

­“Obama wants to reenergize the Democratic party,” war correspondent and author Eric Margolis told RT. “Remember, he was the 'peace president' who vowed to bring peace to the United States.”

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the country will adopt a role of support and training for local forces before the end of next year. But Afghan officials claim the decision has ruined the transition plan, forcing preparations to be rushed through.

Margolis, however, believes that US will will only shrink its presence in Afghanistan to a smaller number of military bases – which would still be able to support military operations in the region, including drone strikes.

“It is not over yet in Afghanistan,” he added. “And what is going to happen to the 80,000 US-paid mercenaries who are in Afghanistan remains uncertain.”

Margolis believes that the Afghan government will not last long without US and NATO support, calling President Hamid Karzai's security forces "completely unreliable."

­Derrick Crowe, of the non-profit Brave New Foundation, believes years of public pressure on American officials are "starting to break through." 

“Sixty-three percent of Americans oppose the war outright, and 58 of them want troops brought home as soon as possible,” he told RT. “And given the very dim prospects for a military fist strategy, I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do.”