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Nov 17th, 2010

NATO: Combat Role in Afghanistan Could Pass 2014

U.S.-led military operation will remain sizable well into the next decade


New end date for Afghanistan? (MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports, Nov. 17, 2010) — Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, shares his thoughts on whether NATO will be able to achieve the 2014 end of allied combat operations in Afghanistan. (04:44)

By Heidi Voght

November 17, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO may keep fighting in Afghanistan past its 2014 target date for shifting authority to Afghan forces, the alliance’s top civilian in the country said Wednesday.

It was the latest indication that the U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan will remain sizable well into the next decade, despite plans to draw down troops and transfer responsibility to the Afghan government.

NATO’s Mark Sedwill said the end of 2014 was not a deadline. “It’s a goal,” he told reporters in the capital. “It’s realistic but not guaranteed.” …

Both the Afghan government and NATO nations have said they’re committed to making the transition happen, but they’ve been hampered this year by increasing violence, with NATO deaths climbing and insurgents expanding attacks to previously peaceful areas in the north and west. …

French Defense Minister Alain Juppe described Afghanistan as a “trap” for allied troops. He said in a radio interview with Europe-1 that France had no intention of keeping troops in Afghanistan indefinitely but would not fully withdraw until “Afghan authorities have the situation in hand.” France has about 3,850 troops in the country. …

Last week, Karzai stunned U.S. officials [link added] when he told The Washington Post that NATO should reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations. He also told the Post that NATO should end the increased Special Operations forces night raids that aggravate Afghans and could strengthen the Taliban insurgency. …


Related reports on this site

In this Monday, July 19, 2010 file picture, Beverly A. Crow, center, sits with unidentified family members during the funeral for her husband, Missouri Army National Guard Sgt. Robert Wayne Crow in Liberty, Mo. Sgt. Crow, 42, of Kansas City, Mo., died July 10 in Paktika, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was a combat engineer with the 203rd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Joplin, Mo. (Photo credit: Charlie Riedel / AP File)

Afghanistan War Cost Too High (Nov. 13, 2010)

Political Solution to Afghan War (Oct. 12, 2010)

10th Year of War in Afghanistan (Oct. 7, 2010)

Afghanistan Strategic Thinking (Sept. 25, 2010)

Colin Powell on Afghan Policy (Sept. 20, 2010)

Support for Afghan War Plummets (Aug. 4, 2010)

Afghan War Deadlier Than Ever (July 31, 2010)

Afghanistan Exit Strategy (June 24, 2010)

U.S. House Rejects Afghan Pullout (March 10, 2010)

Outside the Box in Afghanistan (Dec. 20, 2009)

Escalating Afghanistan Violence (Nov. 20, 2009)

Afghanistan War Strategy Review (Oct. 3, 2009)

Victory in Afghanistan? (Oct. 5, 2008)

In this July 7, 2008 file photo, a police officer walks among the dead and wounded bodies at the site of a suicide attack near the Indian Embassy in central Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Pajhwok News Agency / AP File)


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 17, 2009

Iraq-Afghanistan Casualties

“It’s time we do something. This has gone on too long.
They either need to come home or we need to end it.”

— Denise Sherman, mother of Sgt. Benjamin W. Sherman

One year ago today, I provided my weekly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 17, 2008

Taliban Offered Safe Conduct

An Afghan police officer inspects the wreckage of a car used by a bomber after a suicide attack on a U.S. convoy in Heart, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2008 (Photo credit: AP)

Two years ago today, on Nov. 17, 2008, I reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had offered safe passage and security for the Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Omar if he agreed to enter peace talks, but that Taliban militants rejected the offer, saying there would be no negotiations until foreign troops left Afghanistan.

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