Early this month, NATO announced plans to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2016. Today, General John Campbell, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said it was likely for troops to remain for years to come.
“There is overwhelming support to do something,” Campbell said of NATO’s sentiment on the war, and while no one seems sure what “something” is going to be, it seems a sure bet it’s going to take years.
Gen. Campbell cited Afghan military struggles in his comments, saying there were “capacity gaps” that NATO and the US would be filling for a long time to come.
The occupation of Afghanistan has always been open-ended, but seems to be getting even moreso in recent weeks. That’s bad news for efforts to kick-start peace talks with the Taliban, as they have made any talks conditional on the withdrawal of international forces. Absent that, the war seems set to continue.