US sends the wrong message....
Bad timing - the optics are all bad...
American troops have abandoned an isolated firebase where eight U.S. soldiers were killed in a fierce assault by insurgents last weekend, military officials said Friday.
The departure from the base in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province, in northeastern Afghanistan, was part of a previously planned "repositioning" of troops, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.
The Taliban, in its own statement, said it had driven the Americans out.
The daylong battle Oct. 3 in Kamdesh, in which at least four Afghan troops and 100 attackers also were reported killed, was reminiscent of a much-scrutinized engagement in the area in July 2008. In that battle, nine U.S. soldiers were killed and their remote firebase was nearly overrun.
In last week's attack, insurgents managed to penetrate the base's perimeters, military officials have acknowledged, a rare occurrence in clashes between Taliban fighters and the much better armed Western forces.
The pullout from the battered Kamdesh base was described as part of a larger strategy laid out by U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of Western forces in Afghanistan. His counterinsurgency plan calls for troops to concentrate their attention on populated areas rather than continue to staff isolated outposts that are vulnerable to attack and have little effect on the insurgents' ability to move in a given area.