Sunday, December 22, 2013

With U.S. pullout, military burden shifts to Afghan army --- CAMP CLARK, Khost Province, Afghanistan — Across Afghanistan, a once massive network of U.S. military installations has been largely dismantled, shifting the burden of America’s longest war to Afghan troops who are anxiously awaiting the resolution of a dispute between their president and Washington. -- In the few dozen bases that remain, including this dusty camp in the east, U.S. troops are racing to improve the Afghan army’s logistics and supply systems ahead of a year that many see as the war’s turning point. -- “The enemy used to say they were fighting foreign occupiers,” Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, commander of U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, told troops deployed here during a recent visit. “They can’t say that anymore. They’re fighting Afghans.” -- That the Afghan army is fighting is not in dispute. But its odds of success are uncertain in the face of a resilient insurgency and the increasingly bitter relationship between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Washington, the Afghan government’s chief benefactor. Karzai has balked at signing a bilateral pact that would keep a small, U.S.-led foreign military contingent here beyond 2014, and that has jeopardized the billions of dollars Western nations have pledged to spend here in the years ahead. - More, washingtonpost, at:


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