FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
U.S. troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024. That's 10 years later than when the U.S. has said it would hand over security to Kabul.
But the British newspaper "The Daily Telegraph" reports that the two governments are close to signing a deal that would allow thousands of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan for the long haul.
The reason we went into Afghanistan – Osama bin laden – is dead. The U.S. economy is collapsing under a mountain of debt. We are either unable and/or unwilling to fix our own financial problems.
So what exactly is the point of dumping billions of additional dollars, not to mention human treasure, into Afghanistan?
According to The Daily Telegraph, this agreement would allow both military trainers and U.S. special forces and air power to remain in Afghanistan until at least 2024. Top officials for both governments reportedly say they want to sign this pact before December.
No surprise that Afghanistan's neighbors – like Iran and Pakistan – are none too happy about the prospect of American troops staying for at least another decade.
It's also likely the Taliban would reject such a deal. They've said all foreign troops must leave Afghanistan before they'll negotiate with Hamid Karzai's government.
Meanwhile, U.S. troops have already begun withdrawing from Afghanistan to meet the 2014 deadline. Earlier this summer – President Obama announced that the 33,000 additional "surge" forces would be home by next fall... and the 2012 election. Back then, Mr. Obama said that it's time to "focus on nation building here at home."
Once the surge forces withdraw from Afghanistan, that would leave about 70,000 U.S. troops.
Here’s my question to you: U.S. troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024. What's the point?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
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