The inauguration of new Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani ends months of uncomfortable bickering over the highly fraudulent presidential vote, and also the questions surrounding the continuation of the NATO occupation of the country.
Though President Obama had initially set a deadline for a troop deal as December 31, 2013, that deadline was missed and then some, with President Karzai refusing to budge. President Ghani, whose rise to power has more to do with a US-brokered power-sharing deal than the election itself, signed the deal on Tuesday.
The deal will keep roughly 12,500 NATO troops, 10,000 of them Americans, occupying Afghanistan “through 2024 and beyond,” under terms US officials found favorable.
NATO has made a big deal about the war “ending” at the end of this year, though there doesn’t appear to be a significant transition planned between now and January, and the war as it presently exists seems set to continue more or less forever.