(NVONews.Com) Notwithstanding repeated announcements––the latest by Vice President Joe Biden during the Vice Presidential debate last week––the truth is that the United States army is not going to leave Afghanistan on Dec 31, 2014.
Reports have started coming in that the US has begun negotiations with the Kabul government over the extension of troop presence after 2014.
The US and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul last week to talk about the formal security agreement that will govern the presence of US troops after Dec 31, 2014. And more such meetings are already set to take place.
It is reported that the United Sttates has been working on a deal with Afghanistan to keep US troops in the war-ravaged Central Asian country at least until 2024. This means that the US military would be there for another one decade after 2014.
Only on Monday NATO also announced it would also keep international troops in Afghanistan after 2014 alongside US troops, supposedly in training and advisory roles.
It needs to be recalled that last week the Wall Street Journal reported that “Western officials have mentioned the residual American force as ranging from a few thousand to some 20,000.”
“In addition,” writes Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, “some US policymakers assume that Afghanistan will serve as hub for special operations raids and drone strikes into Pakistan.”
However, critics are of the view that the complete and utter failure of the US and its NATO allies to get anything constructive done in Afghanistan for the past 11 years should be testament enough that another 11 years won’t do any good either.
Writing in Anti-war.com John Glaser said “The stated mission of the US in the war in Afghanistan has been to eliminate the Taleban and al-Qaeda and prevent their return by building up a stable Afghan government and independent security forces. Every one of these goals have been objective failures, and experts and commentators across the political spectrum acknowledge this.”
Today insurgency in Afghanistan is as strong as ever, “even after 11 years of facing off against the world’s most advanced military, is an indication that it will remain alive and well so long as there are any occupation forces on the ground and so long as the Kabul government is propped up by hostile foreign governments,” he wrote.
The problem with the US is that one-third of about 2,00,000 strong Afghan army desert it in any given year. This is because of poor salary and bad working condition. Thus they are not fit to take on Taleban. This is the argument put forward to extent the stay of US forces in Afghanistan.