Afghan Defense Minister wants U.S. Troops past 2014 

Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak met was the Pentagon today to discuss future relations with the U.S. As part of the discussion, Wardak pleaded for continued military assistance past 2014, when the President has said troops will begin to leave. "We do strongly believe that for Afghanistan to be able to survive in that very volatile region, it will need your help beyond 2014," Wardak said at the meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

It makes perfect sense for Wardak to ask for continued assistance. (Who wouldn't want a cost-free alternative to national defense?) The question is though, how much time is needed? By 2014, barring a sudden capitulation by the Taliban, the U.S. will have been fighting in the country for 13 years, making this by far the longest war America has ever fought. Will the extra time ensure that our goals are met? And for that matter, what exactly are our goals?

Our continued involvement brings with it life's only two certainties -- death and taxes. More people will die (nearly 1500 U.S. troops have already lost their lives in Afghanistan) and more taxpayer money will be spent in a time when U.S. finances are receiving increasingly dire warning signs.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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