The Long War in Afghanistan Grows Longer

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American involvement in the long Afghan war was supposed to come to a close by the end of the year, but an array of top Pentagon officials spent Thursday making clear that U.S. troops will be fighting — and potentially dying — there for years to come.

The United States will “stick with Afghanistan, but not just in 2016, that’s 2017 and beyond,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday afternoon, adding that the Afghan army and police remain “a force in building.” Just hours earlier, Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, President Barack Obama’s choice to be the next general to lead the war there, told a congressional panel that “in some areas we have years to go” before the Afghan army and police can stand on their own, despite the $60 billion Washington has already spent to train and equip them.