Vice President Biden in 2010 said the United States would withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014 “come hell or high water,” an unlikely outcome as reports surface that President Obama recently expanded the mission.
"We're starting it in July of 2011 and we're going to be totally out of there, come hell or high water, by 2014,” he said four years ago, according to The Telegraph.
Obama announced in May that most U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan by the end of the year except for 9,800 that would stay behind through 2016.
In recent weeks, Obama signed a classified order that will expand the U.S. mission in Afghanistan next year for those remaining troops, the New York Times reported Friday.
The new mission directs U.S. troops to carry out operations against the Taliban and other militant groups that threaten Afghanistan’s stability using jets, drones and bombers. They will also help advise and train Afghan forces so they are able to act on their own.
News of the expansion comes as the U.S. battles the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Many Republicans have faulted Obama for not acting early enough against the terrorist group.
The GOP argues the U.S. pullout from Iraq in 2011 helped lead to the rise of ISIS. The Iraqi government, however, is mostly responsible for the U.S. withdrawal because they wouldn’t agree to a new security agreement that would permit forces to remain.