US Commander for Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford testified to the Senate today, and provided one of the first ever clues as to what the Pentagon considers “winning” the 13-year-old war, saying that it would mean the Taliban can never return and that Afghanistan’s “democracy” remains in power.
Dunford remained confident that goal was achievable, but hastily ducked questions by Sen. Joe Mancin (D – WV) about whether this meant a perpetual US military occupation of Afghanistan.
Despite not wanting to talk too directly about that, Dunford was quite forthcoming about his confidence that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which will keep US occupation forces in the nation “through 2024 and beyond,” would be signed “just barely in time.”
Dunford said his plans were contingent on the BSA being approved, but that he was confident the new president, who will replace Hamid Karzai in the April election, would have the pact signed no later than August.
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