12 years later, thousands of US soldiers spending holidays in Af - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

12 years later, thousands of US soldiers spending holidays in Afghanistan

WTVM/CNN -

This holiday season,commanders were looking forward to a new agreement with Afghan President HamidKarzai that would have kept just a few thousand US troops in Afghanistan after2014.

However, CNN's Barbara Starr reports that after a meeting with National Security AdvisorSusan Rice, Karzai is now refusing to sign the very deal he helped negotiate.

In an Afghan news channelinterview, Rice made clear that US patience may be at the breaking point.

"If the agreement isn'tsigned promptly, what I said to the President is we would have no choice, wewould be compelled by necessity, not by our preference, to have to begin toplan for the prospect that we will not be able to keep our troops here," saysRice.

After 12 years of war,billions of dollars in aid, more than 2,000 troops killed and over 19,000wounded, Afghan corruption is still rampant.

Vali Nasr of John HopkinsUniversity says Americans are right to be frustrated with Karzai. "Butfrustration is not national security policy. Frustration is not foreign policy,"he says.

Some members of theadministration believe without a US presence, Al Qaeda will return, Iran'sinfluence may grow, and Afghanistan will become a radical haven.

"If things fall apart inAfghanistan, then much of what we have gained can unravel and we may findourselves having to go back in again," Nasr explains.

In the mean time, UStroops still serving there this holiday season are still dreaming of home.

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