The latest in a long line of pre-scripted moves designed to convince the international community that the calamitous Afghan War is moving forward in some orchestrated manner will be held in a matter of weeks, according to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Karzai insisted that there would be a “handover” on March 21 that is the first step of the elaborate, multi-year handover strategy detailed in Lisbon’s conference.
NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen confirmed the date, saying he was “very optimistic” that the current timetable would lead to a full security handover (albeit not a military withdrawal) by May of 2014.
The March 21 “start” doesn’t seem to have any practical impact on the situation on the ground, but is entirely a ceremonial effort, likely aimed at allowing President Obama to insist that he kept his word about July 2011 being the beginning of a handover, even if it is one that is open-ended and illusory.
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