Photo: The U.S. Army / flickr

This piece was published as part of The Future of Afghanistan and U.S. Foreign Policy, a collaboration between the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism and ForeignAffairs.com.

U.S. and allied forces have made great progress in Afghanistan since the start of the counterinsurgency campaign in early 2010. But critical military tasks remain -- and these can only be accomplished by a substantial deployment of U.S. troops. Last May, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that he would be withdrawing 10,000 U.S. troops before the end of 2011 and the remaining 20,000 surge troops by September 2012, leaving a total of 68,000

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