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“There will be a long, protracted occupation of Afghanistan”

There are signals that the 18-month deadline is a soft one and there are plans to keep a number of troops in Afghanistan, writer Kelley Vlahos told RT.

“By July 2011 there will be at least 200,000 either contractors or coalition personnel in Afghanistan,” Vlahos said. “To get them out of there in 18 months would be impossible. But we are already hearing signals that this is a soft headline, that there are plans to keep a number of troops in there for training purposes, for reconstruction. So we are talking about a long, protracted occupation which I believe was hardwired from the beginning. It’s just Obama was tasked with trying to sell this to the American public.”