Monday marked the end of the 12th year of combat operations in Afghanistan, notes Stars and Stripes, “and for a conflict that’s been seemingly forgotten by most Americans who’ve grown weary of war, it seems fitting that the anniversary should be overshadowed by a domestic story: the federal government shutdown.”
“More than a decade since the U.S. launched Operation Enduring Freedom on Oct. 7, 2001, there are still 54,000 American troops in Afghanistan. That is more, by far, than at any time during the first seven years of the war.”
“The military is whittling forces down to approximately 34,000 by February and the number of coalition bases has gone from a high of 800 to about 100 now. But combat troops will be there for another 15 months, so we are likely still a long way from the last U.S. casualty in Afghanistan.”
Crossposted at Wonk Wire.