Less than three years ago, U.S. President Barack Obama drew up national plans to bring  U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan back home.

In a war that has threatened the rights of people in the Middle East and the safety of the Americans since the tragic day of 9/11, clashing promises have been made to fight the “War on Terror” and bring troops home.

Until December 2009, Obama fully asserted to withdraw over 180,000 soldiers servicing in Iraq & Afghanistan by 2014. Throughout his presidency, he has been following up with his plan but current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta advised and supported a plan that about 3000-4000 troops remain in Iraq- A figure which commanders say is not enough.

Regardless of numbers, any potential decision to let soldiers stay past the deadline may contradict the strong promise Obama made as president.

“”As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As president, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office.” said in a weekly radio address back in August 2010.

As of now Obama has witdrawn troops to fewer than 50,000 now from more than 140,000 in January 2009 according to the New York Times but is now pressed to follow instructions from Panetta. The Secretary of Defense said such a plan was necessary due to rising car bombings  and violent Al-Qaeda attacks that have caused instability in Iraq. With the deadline for removal of troops in Iraq approaching the end of 2011, Obama will have to make a tough choice.

 ANALYSIS: Actually, this issue with troops  is a no-brainer. As of June 2011, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press states a majority 56 percent of Americans say that US troops should be brought home as soon as possible, while 39 percent favor keeping troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized. Well of course, a war that has been going on for almost eight years will have a negative impact on people and resources for any country involved.

With the 2012 Elections coming around, Obama is not the popular candidate this time around. Others are looking to challenge him vigorously. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says “Obama doesn’t have a clue.”  He also added his 59-point plan for the economy will create 11 million jobs.

If Obama wants to keep his bid for president, he has to start by sticking with his guns on crucial policies. As a president who feels strongly about the environment, I was disappointed with him after he decided to back down from Republican pressure and halt a planned increase in clean air standards

I also came accross a  survey from the Washington Post and ABC News stating approval ratings of Obama had fallen to 43 percent, while for the first time a majority of 53 percent disapproves. This is due mainly to his wishy-washy attitude on issues and the economic downturn regarding the debt ceiling, recession, and unemployment rate nearing 13 percent. In addition ABC also reported a shocking 77 percent of polled Americans feel the country is “heading in the wrong direction.”

No doubt, Obama is having a lot of crisis to deal with and is doing poorly as a president. He got a lot of things wrong with the economy plus the stimulus package had little impact. It created jobs but as not as much as people would like or need. Overall the economy was a gamble but one thing he can help is seeing out his promises. So falling back to the issue of  US troops- if Obama said he would have all troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan by 2014 without having any detrimental effects on the US or Middle East, he should see to it and tell Panetta to shut up.

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