US 2014 withdrawal is turning point for Afghanistan

Troops in the Afghan National Army at a training session in Herat province (photo:dpa)
Troops in the Afghan National Army at a training session in Herat province (photo:dpa)

The size of a residual force left in Afghanistan is being hotly debated as the United States grapples with winding down a war that has lasted more than 10 years. The White House has yet to decide – which leaves a climate of uncertainty. Several factors will determine the nature of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan when its combat role ends in 2014. These include: the ‘state’ of the Afghan army and security forces; whether or not Afghanistan can maintain stability and security; and the 2014 presidential election when Hamid Karzai is expected to step down.

AFGHANISTAN is no longer a global hub of terrorist activity, but a Taliban resurgence would threaten to make it one again.

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