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“The theory is that we are still there in order to train up the ANSF so they can remain an effective fighting force once we leave,” he said. “It is kind of hard for us to train them if our troops won’t go near them.

“So separating the troops makes no sense, but there is a lot about Afghanistan that makes no sense, so why not more nonsense? I think that as soon as the polls close in November, U.S. commanders will announce that we have seen unexpected success in Afghanistan, and we are accelerating our drawdown,” Mr. Pike said.