Military families on edge as US delays Afghanistan troop withdrawal

By REUTERS
October 16, 2015 01:04
1 minute read.

Lauren Alaquinez will soon say goodbye to her husband for the fifth time in three years, when he deploys once again to Afghanistan with the US Army Special Forces.

As a military family, Alaquinez and her four children know what they've signed up for. But that made it no easier to hear the news that President Obama would delay the withdrawal of 9,800 US troops stationed in the war-torn Central Asian country.

"Of course, it naturally makes me so angry," said the 30-year-old Florida resident. "He spends more of his time in that country than he does at home."

Across the country, military families echoed that stoicism with a mixture of frustration, acceptance and resignation at the news that the 14-year conflict would be prolonged.

The Obama administration said it would leave it to commanders to determine which units might redeploy to Afghanistan. But it did not rule out the possibility that some forces already there may see their tours extended.

Members of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum in New York, and the 7th Infantry Division, based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, are among those most recently deployed to Afghanistan. Public affairs officers for those units could not immediately be reached for comment.

Representatives for several US Army installations declined to comment on how Obama's announcement might affect their troops.


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