New French President FranÃ§ois Hollande is losing no time in keeping at least one of his campaign promises. He’ll announce France’s early exit from Afghanistan at the NATO summit in Chicago later this month.
Manuel Valls, Mr Hollande’s communications director, confirmed that France would use the summit to “announce the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan between now and the end of the year.”
Both NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President Obama are expected to try to talk Hollande out of his earlier withdrawal, I suspect not because it would really hurt the mission there but because the optics look bad for the stick-the-coursers.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee say they believe that the Taliban has grown stronger since President Obama sent 33,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan in 2010. The Surge ™ was a failure and there’s absolutely no argument for staying a moment longer left. Dave Dayen has the details.