Next Step: Exploit Afghanistan’s Natural Resources

John Glaser,, November 30, 2011

In my piece today on the gradual drawdown of NATO troops in Afghanistan, I provided plenty of evidence supporting the notion that we are not getting out of Afghanistan in 2014, as the Obama administration claims. By the end of next year, 40,000 will have been withdrawn, from the approximately 140,000 there now.

I’ve written before about how actual military and defense officials repeatedly explain that 2014 will not be the end of the occupation. As just one example, in a recent talk at the Council on Foreign Relations from under secretary of defense for policy at the Department of Defense Michèle Flournoy, she explained that “2014 is not a withdrawal date—it’s an inflection point.” And now Afghan President Hamid Karzai has tacitly approved a robust strategic agreement and U.S. military presence through 2024 at his council of over 2,000 tribal elders.

Continues >>


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