America’s Longest War…Likely to Get Longer

18 Nov


President Obama ordered a surge of U.S. troops into Afghanistan in 2009, with a pledge that those fighting would all be out by the end of next year. Now—surprise!—he and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have hammered out a draft accord that would permit perhaps 10,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.

That means the U.S. war in Afghanistan will probably slip beyond the 4,834 days (13 years, 2 months, 25 days) between Oct. 7, 2001, when the U.S. invaded, and Dec. 31, 2014, when all U.S. combat troops are due to leave. Those likely to be left behind will be there largely to train Afghan troops, hunt down and kill terrorists, and be targets for those same terrorists. That makes the U.S. war in Afghanistan more than three times the duration of its 1,346-day (3 years, 8 months, 7 days) participation in World War II.

But Iraq, increasingly slipping toward civil…

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