As we move from security transition towards the transformational decade (2015-2024), we are faced with even less military and civilian support to assist current counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan in a meaningful way.
So, why we still have troops in Afghanistan? The list of reasons are endless, depending on whom you ask. One might even say the United States is keeping troops in Afghanistan as a way of maintaining leverage over China due to our recently acquired debt.
There is definitely a huge drug problem in Afghanistan, and our strategy seems to be the cause of it. Our allies that we desperately rely on are all high on drugs, selling drugs, or both. And not only are we paying for it, people are dying because of it.
A small group of Pentagon and USAID officials and American geologists may have found the biggest single solution to permanently transforming Afghanistan's economy and winning the struggle against Taliban.
Afghanistan is not Iraq. Unlike the Sunni Awakening, when Iraqi tribe members took up arms against al-Qaeda and foreign insurgents, the Taliban are an integral part of Afghanistan, not foreign fighters.