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US cutting back in Afghanistan

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Now why would anyone ever get the impression that the US is going to cut and run in Afghanistan? Just because they did it before and there is an expensive and failing war in Iraq, that doesn't mean anything, right? With NATO's vision of policing and a weak Afghan army, southern Afghanistan could get interesting later this year.

The most dramatic example will come by this summer, when the U.S. military officially hands over control of the volatile southern region -- plagued by persistent attacks from Islamic militias -- to an international force led by the NATO alliance. The United States will cut its troop strength by 2,500, even though it is not clear how aggressively NATO troops will pursue insurgents, who have shown no sign of relenting.

Still, Wardak noted, the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. support after the decade-long Soviet occupation ended in 1989 precipitated a civil war that culminated with the Taliban movement taking power.

"I hope the international community, and especially the U.S., has learned the lesson of what happened," he said. "I hope that history will not repeat itself this time."

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