U.S. Troop Surge in Afghanistan Ends
¶ KABUL, Afghanistan — The American troop surge in Afghanistan is over.
¶ More than a week ahead of schedule, the American military says it has completed what it called the “recovery,” meaning withdrawal, of the 33,000 surge troops it had sent to Afghanistan by the fall of 2010.
¶ The milestone, which still leaves 68,000 American troops in Afghanistan, went nearly unremarked here, with no statement from President Hamid Karzai or the United States military commander, Gen. John R. Allen, or even from the American ambassador. It was announced on the other side of the planet, by the American Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, during a visit to New Zealand.
¶ “As we reflect on this moment, it is an opportunity to recognize that the surge accomplished its objectives of reversing Taliban momentum on the battlefield, and dramatically increased the size and capability of the Afghan National Security Forces,” Mr. Panetta said