Tensions With Pakistan A New Excuse for Keeping Afghan War Going
The Obama Administration’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan centers on a policy of securing an agreement with President Hamid Karzai to keep ground troops in the nation through 2024. At the same time, officials have to keep up the public pretense of an imminent drawdown.
The excuses for the drawdown’s delay have usually been that the war is going too well or too poorly to change troop levels. The excuse now, it seems, is “anti-American” sentiment of Pakistan is making the withdrawal inconvenient.
Pakistan has been keeping the border to Afghanistan closed since November in retaliation for a random (and still inexplicable) US attack on a pair of their military bases. The Pakistani government has made reopening the border conditional on the US apologizing and also stopping the drone strikes against the tribal areas.