NATO Hypes Afghan Closures, But Focuses on Tiny ‘Bases’

Bases Mostly 'Checkpoints' Along Highways

NATO officials are loudly hyping the closure of 200 “bases” in Afghanistan as part of a drawdown of forces from the occupied nation, scheduled to be finished by the end of 2014.

But as with the claims of “ending the war” in the end of 2014, the hype is far different from the reality. In this case, the 200 “bases” are almost entirely little shacks and checkpoints set up along rural stretches of highway.

Instead NATO forces are consolidating themselves into the much larger bases across the country, which may be as much about trying to cut down on attacks as it is about selling the drawdown.

Though NATO has made a big deal of the 2014 “transition” date, President Obama was in Afghanistan earlier this year to sign a pact agreeing to keep US forces inside Afghanistan through at least 2024. The exact size of that force has not been specified.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of