As the NATO summit in Lisbon begins today, President Obama has a new plan for Afghanistan—and it calls for the US and others to stick around beyond 2014, the Christian Science Monitor reports. NATO forces, the plan says, will turn over the country to Afghan forces by 2014, but will keep a presence in the country long after that—meaning Obama will need to convince NATO allies to stick around, despite their war-weary public at home.
Military officials will likely applaud the move, the Monitor notes, adding that they've long maintained that victory in Afghanistan would take time, a belief Obama hasn't publicly supported until now. “The clock on Afghanistan has had quite a bit more time added to it, and that provides a lot more pressure on the Taliban psychologically and it will physically,” says one official. But Taliban bosses say it won’t matter. “If they kill one” commander, “we will get another who is even stronger than the other ones.”