Uncertainty Over US Plans As War Enters 10th Year

It's make-or-break time in Afghanistan. The war enters its 10th year Thursday, and this is no ordinary anniversary. With extra American troops now in place, this is the critical juncture to determine if President Barack Obama's revised war stategy will work and reverse Taliban momentum. Key players are hedging their bets, uncertain whether the Obama administration is prepared to stay for the long haul, move quickly to exit an increasingly unpopular conflict, or something in between. Fearing that his Western allies may in the end abandon him, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has started to prepare his nation for a withdrawal of international forces by shoring up relations with neighboring Pakistan and reaching out to insurgents interested in reconciliation. Pakistan, America's nominal ally, says it's fighting insurgents. But it still tolerates al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban militants hiding out on its soil — out of reach of U.S.-led NATO ground forces. Public support for the war is slipping in the United States and Western Europe. Already, the Netherlands has pulled out its troops, the first NATO country to do so. The Canadians leave next.
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