14+ years into the military occupation of Afghanistan, a lot of US bases inside the country have become “long-term” But with Bagram Airbase, which is been one of the centerpiece military holdings of the war, the Pentagon is looking to formalize that long-term nature.
The official plan right now is to return Bagram to the Afghan government at some point after 2016, but the Pentagon is pushing hard to keep Bagram under its control in an open-ended way, with officials saying Afghanistan will never survive without a “sizable” US military force.
Formalizing this arrangement could be difficult for the White House to agree to, however, as they’re still sticking to the narrative that the war is almost over, and getting down to an “embassy level” military presence is still going to happen in the next few years.
That drawdown date keeps getting bumped back, and everyone realistically expects that to continue for years to come. Administration officials, however, are less than eager to admit as much and gear up for keeping Bagram for decades more to come.
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