You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
During a visit to Afghanistan, Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a Republican, stressed that no American forces would remain in the country without a bilateral security agreement, but also said Obama should not wait for that to give an idea of what the US presence would look like after the Nato-led combat mission ends at the end of this year.
"I believe that it is time for our president to do this so that the people of Afghanistan understand that we remain committed in Afghanistan," Ayotte said, stressing that any post-2014 force would be contingent on the pact being signed. "He can no longer delay this decision."
Which makes perfect sense. Just because Afghanistan hasn't signed an agreement on a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan shouldn't stop the U.S. from announcing the levels of its continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. The U.S. doesn't need the permission or input of other countries when basing its troops on their land. The U.S. is exceptional, and can do what it wants!
The top commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, testified at a Senate armed services committee hearing last week that he would feel comfortable with a residual international force of between 8,000 and 12,000 troops if the deal is signed. He said the US would provide two-thirds of those troops and would keep an additional few thousand forces in Afghanistan to conduct counterterrorism operations.
Bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda has moved on. After all these years, the Afghan government remains a corrupt mess, the Afghan military presumably remains incapable of defending the Afghan government, the Afghan economy remains a work not even necessarily in progress, and Afghan human rights are not improving.
Someone needs to explain what the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has accomplished, since the last surge. Someone needs to explain what a continuing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would accomplish. Someone needs to explain the end game, and what the markers would be indicating that the U.S. military can leave. Someone needs to explain when that would be. Someone needs to explain how much it would all cost. In money, and lives.
Originally posted to Laurence Lewis on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:24 AM PDT.