France denies any connection between its decision to remove troops from Afghanistan in 2011 and Osama bin Laden’s pledge to attack French troops.
Interesting turn of events. I’m happy that the threat may be decreased, but it’s hard not to be a bit cynical about the timing. I don’t think we should any longer be occupying Afghanistan either, but I don’t think bowing to the demands of Bin Laden is exactly the way I’d go about announcing a departure. But I’m not the King of France either, so what do I know?
France is leaving Afghanistan. Though President Obama has committed to reducing America’s footprint in Afghanistan beginning July 2011, the withdrawal of another ally is likely to add an additional layer of challenge to maneuver that reduction. And the timing of the announcement has put France’s decision under some scrutiny.
France’s announcement came a day after the release of a tape with a message believed to be from Osama Bin Laden, who threatened to attack French citizens because of their presence in Afghanistan and treatment of Muslims. French officials were quick to insist that there is “absolutely no link” between the threat and their decision to begin withdrawing troops in 2011.