The Hamid Karzai Timetable

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Today, in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai gave his own assessment to the length of time U.S. forces will need to stay in his country. It did not overlap too exactly with President Obama’s plan to begin drawing down forces in July of 2011, less than two years from now. The Associated Press reports:

After meeting Tuesday with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said it may be five years before his army is ready to take on insurgents — a blunt warning that the planned exit strategy for U.S. troops from Afghanistan 18 months from now could grind slowly through 2014.

Karzai also said it will be at least 15 years before his government can bankroll a security force strong enough to protect the country from the threat of insurgency.