Council Special Report, Council on Foreign Relations, November 2013
Following the recent endorsement of the U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral security agreement by Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, a new CFR report outlines the composition, role, and rationale for the roughly ten thousand U.S. troops that will possibly remain in the country after the 2014 drawdown. RAND Corporation's Seth G. Jones and Keith Crane explain in a new Council Special Report how the United States should manage the complex political, security, and economic challenges that will accompany the reduction in U.S. and allied forces. They argue for a force of eight to twelve thousand troops to assist Afghan national security forces and prevent a resurgence of al-Qaeda.
"The United States has made an enormous expenditure of blood and treasure in Afghanistan since 9/11. Though not readily apparent to an American public weary of more than a decade of fighting, important gains have …