Western withdrawal portends Afghan peace
By Brian M Downing
The United States is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan though the recent agreement with President Hamid Karzai indicates that the US will retain a significant presence, civilian and military, for many years to come. It is unclear how many Western troops will remain but the level will certainly be far lower than the roughly 80,000 there today. This will mean of course that responsibility for security will shift largely onto the shoulders of the Afghan National Army (ANA).
The ANA will be charged with countering the Taliban and other insurgent groups, which are chiefly in the south and east. Evaluations of their competence vary ...