Nov 10, 2010
U.S. Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, the commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan, indicated Tuesday that U.S. forces will still be fighting in Afghanistan in 2014. He said current plans aim to have “Afghan security forces in the lead” and U.S. forces in supporting roles by Dec. 31, 2014–more than four years from now.
President Obama has said that U.S. forces will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011. But Lt. Gen. Caldwell’s statement today indicates that the drawdown will still be in progress three-and-a-half years after it begins.
In July, Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared: “I am determined that our Afghan security forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations throughout the country by 2014.”
On Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen indicated that they supported Karzai’s transition timeline.