Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s meetings this week in Washington should help resolve some of the key issues that will determine his country’s fate and the U.S. role in it. These include how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 and also how rapidly those leaving will depart. The Afghan-U.S. discussions should also help resolve uncertainties concerning peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban and their foreign backers as well as how Karzai will transfer power to his duly elected successor in 2014. Above all, the meetings will make evident the limits of American power in a land that has seen generations of conflict, a legacy that seems likely to continue for many more years.
The Afghan National Army (ANA), which already has the lead combat role in protecting more than three-fourths of the country’s population, is scheduled this summer to take over that role throughout the country from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The ISAF coalition currently has 100,000 troops, the majority from the United States, but as many as half may be withdrawn by the end of this year as ISAF transitions into more of a support role to the 300,000-man ANA. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Political Unrest, Religious Divide Push Bangladesh to the Edge
- Greece’s Reversal Puts China’s Mediterranean Plans Back on Track
- Global Insights: As China Ponders BMD Options, U.S. Must Consider Responses
- After Years of Talk, U.S.-India Defense Ties Gain Traction
- Fishing Wars: China’s Aggression Could Stoke Future Conflict