Daalder: Afghanistan Process Will Take Years

Ivo Daalder, the US Ambassador to NATO, says that we are "seeing the corner and can peek around it in Afghanistan" and that a province-by-province handover of security responsibilities to the host government will "start in the first half of 2011." But the final handover is not expected until "the end of 2014" and NATO forces will remain in an advisory capacity indefinitely. "The process will take years," he emphasized.

Ivo Daalder, the US Ambassador to NATO, says that we are “seeing the corner and can peek around it in Afghanistan” and that a province-by-province handover of security responsibilities to the host government will “start in the first half of 2011.”  But the final handover is not expected until “the end of 2014” and NATO forces will remain in an advisory capacity indefinitely.  “The process will take years,” he emphasized.

His remarks were at a breakfast meeting with a small number of journalists and think tankers hosted by New America Foundation’s Steve Clemons and Talking Points Memo editor Josh Marshall.

I’ve summarized the Afghanistan discussion in  my New Atlanticist post, “Afghanistan Process Will Take Years.”   One observation especially of interest to my readers here:

Aside from some hearty skepticism about what it is that we can see around Daalder’s proverbial corner, it’s interesting, indeed, that a senior administration official went on the record with such a vigorous defense of not only the importance of the Afghan mission but making a commitment to stay the course years into the future, given how controversial that view is not only within the public at large but, especially, the president’s base.  And we’re two working days away from an election in which, unless the pollsters suffer an embarrassment not seen since Dewey turned out not to have defeated Truman at all, the president’s party is expected to get trounced in both Houses of Congress and in gubernatorial races around the country.

More at the link.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Quick Takes, World Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.