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Afghans: 2014 Deadline For NATO Withdrawal 'Won't Work'

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Congress may place conditions on future Afghan war funding. The White House's request for $37 billion in emergency funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars faces resistance from legislators on both sides of the aisle. According to Sen. Bob Corker, "a lot of folks you'd consider the strongest hawks in the country are scratching their heads in concern" over the lack of progress in the war effort. Though Congress will likely approve the request, it may make the funding contingent on the development of a fixed timetable for withdrawal. [LA Times]

Afghans: 2014 deadline won't work. Several Afghans interviewed by the BBC after an international summit in Kabul do not believe Afghan forces will be ready to take over for NATO forces in 2014. They believe a NATO withdrawal will spark a new civil war. One speculated that to prevent this, international forces would need to stay in Afghanistan for "another 10 or 15 years." [BBC]

NATO drops plan to begin Afghan security handover this year. Diplomats assembled at a summit in Kabul had hoped to announce international forces would withdraw from several provinces in northwest Afghanistan by the end of 2010, but dropped the idea at the urging of NATO's Afghanistan force commander, Gen. David Petraeus. Petraeus's move reportedly triggered a "heated exchange" between himself and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. [Guardian]

U.S. special forces expand role in Pakistan. Though American Special Operations Forces will be allowed to accompany Pakistani forces on aid projects near its border with Afghanistan, they have been warned to keep a low profile. "This whole exercise could be counterproductive if people see U.S. boots on the ground," said one Pakistani official. Until recently, U.S. forces' role in Pakistan had been limited to training Pakistani soldiers. [WSJ]