"While the opportunities to build peace and stability have never been greater, a new ecology of terror threatens to block not just our prosperity but yours as well. Localized insurgencies and external enablers have evolved into existential threats to states. In parts of the Middle East, extremism has taken a violent form. To the east, Pakistan's military operations are pushing a number of terrorist networks into our territory. Narcotics provide deadly criminal networks with the weapons and money to attract new recruits from around the world. We are determined to fight this scourge." Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah
Until BHO tied himself into knots by listening excessively to the kaganesque neocons and their Petraeuslike disciples, I favored the idea of a long term US garrison in Afghanistan that would as a minimum keep Kabul in government hands and that would enable the US + friends to keep the AQ type groups off balance in the country.
A force like that would IMO have amounted to around 20,000 including; conventional troops to hold bases and towns, SOF troops to chase the guerrillas, aviation assets for fire support and logistics, support and headquarters.
In 2009 Obama decided to adopt the COIN concept in Afghanistan with a view to revolution in Afghan society to make it a modern heavily western influenced country. To that end, a vast amount of money was lavished on development efforts and a very large coalition force sought to pacify the whole country.
All of that failed.
"Everything old is new again." Now the failed COIN war is to be continued indefinitely under conditions, and with resources and missions that I once favored, but do not now.
Too much blood has been spilt. Too much money has been thrown away, money that could have been used for; medical research, space exploration, infrastructure rebuild, etc. There has been too much grief for too long. This big war has continued for too long. the possibility of what could have been done with small numbers of willing professionals is now buried as a viable concept under all that has gone before.
Ghani hopes that we Americans will decide to accept a more or less permanent fighting presence in his desolate wasteland of a country. he hopes that this presence will hold the geographical expression that is Afghanistan together in the semblance of a real country.
One can only hope that the USA will eventually decide we are not suitable successors to the empire that maintained the soldiers that Kipling wrote of.
We can then just say to hell with it and leave. pl