The Longest U.S. War, Prolonged: After Vowing Afghan Pullout, Obama Extends Occupation Indefinitely

President Obama has reversed plans to withdraw most U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the time he leaves office. On Thursday, Obama said a deteriorating security situation will force him to maintain the current deployment of 9,800 soldiers through 2016. When Obama’s term ends in 2017, the U.S. will keep at least 5,500 troops at four bases across Afghanistan. After 14 years of war, the Taliban now holds more of Afghanistan than at any point since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and some estimates put them in control of half the country. President Obama’s announcement comes nearly a year after he declared an official end to the U.S. combat mission, though U.S. military operations have continued. The move assures that despite previous pledges, the war will continue under his successor. We are joined by Intercept reporters Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Devereaux and Cora Currier, whose new series “The Drone Papers” includes a detailed look at the drone war in Afghanistan based on government leaks.

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