Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Negotiating to Keep Troops in Afghanistan

Negotiations to extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan will begin soon, according to a State Department official. The U.S. combat mission is scheduled to end in 2014, but some troops may stay for counterterrorism operations and train and advise the Afghan security forces, the official said. The Secretary General of NATO, meanwhile, confirmed that allied forces are committed to the 2014 timeline, despite calls for an accelerated drawdown.

From ASG
The War That Won’t End

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

But even after combat operations end, U.S. operations in Afghanistan will continue to cost taxpayers billions each year.

State Department official: Negotiations to extend U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan starting soon
Foreign Policy’s The Cable by Josh Rogin

Despite statements by Vice President Joe Biden, the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, a top State Department official said Tuesday.

US at a crossroads deep in an Afghan no-man’s land
The LA Times by Ned Parker

The daily fight right beyond the wire is bitter and unwelcome evidence of the stalemate that exists in southern and eastern Afghanistan.

Hamid Karzai: Afghanistan ready if NATO accelerates its troop withdrawal plan
The Hill’s DEFCON Hill by Jeremy Herb

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday that his government would be ready and willing to take over security if the United States and NATO quickened their withdrawal plan.

Time to Pack Up
The New York Times Editorial Board

It is time for United States forces to leave Afghanistan on a schedule dictated only by the security of the troops. It should not take more than a year. The United States will not achieve even President Obama’s narrowing goals, and prolonging the war will only do more harm.

Afghanistan’s Fiscal Cliff
Foreign Policy by Matthieu Aikins

The future stability of the country has less to do with Afghan troop levels than it does with whether Afghan powerbrokers can forge a more stable, indigenous order after the international money dries up.

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