Foreignpolicy.com reports that the U.S. State Department is in negotiations with the Afghani government to extended the presence of U.S. troops past 2014.
Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the negotiations will provide U.S. troop presence well past 2014, for counterterrorism operations and training and advising the Afghan security forces.
U.S. military officials are indicating that they plan to keep 25,000 American troops in Afghanistan past 2014. NATO announced Monday that it will also keep international troops in Afghanistan past 2014 to train and advise the Afghani forces.
President Obama has said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end in 2014 and the U.S. will cede control of the entire country to the Afghani government.
During his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Vice President Biden stated unequivocally that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.
Biden said, “We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion; we’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”
We need a continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan. We don’t need 25,000 Americans and a NATO force there. The most effective U.S. force will have a small foot print and a high tooth to tail ratio. We need to focus our training and advisory efforts on small agile effective Afghani units. The nation building creation of national institutions and a large army is doomed to failure. Indeed, it has already failed, we should pronounce it dead and find an alternative strategy.
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