Speaking on his surprise trip to Afghanistan today, President Obama expressed hope that a troop deal would be finalized soon, and said he plans to make public the intended troop level for 2015 and beyond soon thereafter.
The part where he hassles President Hamid Karzai about the deal appears to be over, however, as he reportedly called Karzai today and informed him that the pact will be settled with his successor.
That’s presumably going to be Abdullah Abdullah, who is facing a run-off vote against Ashraf Ghani on June 14. Abdullah is the front-runner, and has been pledging to sign the troop deal with the US shortly after his election.
The White House has been mum recently on troop levels for post-2014 Afghanistan, but the Pentagon has been seeking much larger levels than the administration was said to be considering,