Ben Farmer, writing for The Telegraph on Friday, reported that the U.S. and Afghanistan have reached an agreement that would allow American special forces and air force to remain in the country until 2024. The agreement arrives as the United States claims it will pack up and leave by the end of 2014.
In December of 2009, during a speech delivered at West Point, Obama said troops would begin leaving Afghanistan. Prior to the speech, the Pentagon said it would send an additional 30,000 troops as part of a “mini-surge.” NATO was asked to send between 5,000 and 10,000 troops as part of an international force. In early 2010, the Pentagon increased substantially its “new civilian forces” outside of Kabul, according to ABC News.
Afghanistan’s hand-picked president, Hamid Karzai, confirmed earlier this year that the United States plans to establish permanent bases in his country. “Yes they want this (permanent bases) and we have been negotiating with them,” Karzai said at a press conference in his presidential palace in February. “We believe that a long-term relationship with the United States is in the interest of Afghanistan.”
The deal was negotiated without the participation or approval of the Afghan parliament or the grand tribal council known as the Loya Jirga.