'Bridging Force' Might Stay In Afghanistan After 2014
It appears the end of 2014 might not be the end of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as President Obama has said.
According to the Army Times, the Pentagon is considering a temporary "bridging force" of several thousand troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to help Afghans continue to fight the Taliban.
The size of the force is unknown. It would likely stay in Afghanistan for several years. It would be in addition to the small cadre of troops the U.S. had already planned to station in Afghanistan after the draw-down.
"It's an idea that's being discussed in many different settings," said Army Lt. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "is trying to float the idea that we are going to have to have more forces in Afghanistan [after 2014] than anyone previously thought," said Chris Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington.
Harmer said the idea behind the bridging force is the Afghan National Security Forces are just not ready to face the Taliban alone.
Saturday, July 4, 2015, Watertown, NY
On Wall Street