When America's 33,000- troop "surge" in Afghanistan ended a week before President Obama's deadline this coming Sunday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement during a trip to New Zealand. In today's speech to the UN, the President mentioned Afghanistan only once. Sixty-eight thousand American soldiers are scheduled to stay in Afghanistan until 2014. What did hundreds of lives and tens of billions of dollars accomplish over the past two years? Soldiers, diplomats, and other observers don't agree. It's unclear if it's safe for remaining coalition troops to train Afghan security forces, or if the Taliban are just waiting for final US withdrawal. What's likely to happen between now and then? Does America have the political will to make good on its promise to maintain Afghanistan's integrity long after that?
Rod Nordland, New York Times (@rodnordland)
Joseph Collins, National War College
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Starbucks (@rajivscribe)
Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist