Kabul Conference hints at NATO withdrawal

The Kabul Conference set to start Tuesday may hint at something that the United States and other sponsors of Afghanistan’s government have been dancing around... More Below... Posted by on Jul 20th, 2010 and filed under World.

The Kabul Conference set to start Tuesday may hint at something that the United States and other sponsors of Afghanistan’s government have been dancing around for some time: A target date for ending what is already America’s longest running foreign war.

A British newspaper obtained a leaked draft of the communiqué that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senior ministers from over 40 countries are expected to sign Tuesday. The “international community” supports the notion that “the Afghan National Security Forces should lead and conduct military operations in all provinces by the end of 2014,” it says.

The draft is a reflection of the growing unease over the war among many members of the NATO coalition in Afghanistan, although the language could well be altered or dropped by the end of Tuesday’s conference.

On Monday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told reporters that he supported the 2014 target and that Germany wants a “perspective for a withdrawal” to come out of the conference. Meanwhile, UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox told the BBC that his nation’s combat troops will likely be out of the country by then as well.

(Thanks to The Christian Science Monitor and Wikipedia)