In a move that was widely expected after the US announced their own extension of the Afghan War, NATO today has announced it will keep its own troops in occupied Afghanistan at the current level through at least the end of next year.
There are 12,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, not counting certain US forces, and the plan was initially to reduce this figure significantly at the end of the year. NATO has repeatedly pushed back its drawdown deadlines, and next year is probably also in serious question at this point.
The US plans to keep its own deployment around 10,000 troops through the end of next year, with President Obama planning a partial drawdown around the time he leaves office, though this will almost certainly be revisited by whoever wins the 2016 election, and the war further extended.
In addition to extending the costly occupation, NATO is also courting its member nations to bankroll Afghanistan’s massive 350,000-strong military. Afghanistan’s own government has virtually no revenue apart from foreign aid, and has no way to pay for this huge, NATO-built military.