WASHINGTON — In January, when U.S. officials first raised the prospect of keeping no troops in Afghanistan after 2014, this “zero option” was broadly seen as a rhetorical bargaining chip the White House was using to nudge along talks over a long-term security agreement.
But an increasingly acrimonious stalemate between the officials and Afghanistan’s recalcitrant president has made the prospect quite real. After its longest war in history, the United States is suddenly contemplating having to dismantle the bulk of its counterterrorism infrastructure in the region and abandon Afghanistan’s fledgling security forces. A wholesale withdrawal also would shut down the foreign-aid pipeline that keeps the Afghan state afloat and sharply limit any enduring U.S. diplomatic presence.
You must login to view the full content on this page.
Or, use your linked account: