U.S. Troops Beginning to Shift Responsibility to Afghan Forces

Pentagon officials told lawmakers Tuesday they are happy about the progress Western forces are making, and expect Afghan forces to grow as a withdrawal date approaches.

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"The basic strategic problem of Afghanistan, in my view, is that it's a pretty close call on the merits," Stephen Biddle with the Council on Foreign Relations told reporters last week. "It's a war where the United States has real but limited interests at stake, but where most people's military analysis of the resources you would need to secure those interests involves a level of sacrifice that looks to many Americans--apparently including the president--like much more than the gravity of the stakes."

"That leaves you with a problem where, to secure real but limited interests, you can either overspend and invest more than they look to be worth," Biddle said, "or you can under spend them and end up getting nothing."

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