Mark Sedwill, NATO’s top civilian representative to Afghanistan, said earlier today that the security transition to Afghan control in parts of the country could go into “2015 and beyond,” commenting that 2014 is a “goal” which is “realistic but not guaranteed” (emphasis added)
Sedwill said the number of NATO troops — currently at around 130,000 — may not be heavily reduced by that date, but the mission will shift to focus on training and advising Afghan troops.
“This is the point about 2014, it’s not an end of mission. It’s not even a complete change of mission, but it is an inflection point where the balance of the mission would have shifted.”
It’s not clear what will happen when/if coalition partners start pulling out their forces. Canada and the Netherlands have stated an intent to pull out combat forces but who knows…maybe that’ll go the way of 2011.