The US and Afghanistan have at last agreed on the broad contours of a strategic partnership agreement outlining their relationship after US troops leave in 2014. In it, the US pledges to continue providing support for the Afghan government for another ten years, the New York Times reports. The exact level of financial aid isn't specified, since Congress must approve that, but the figure being bandied about is $2.7 billion a year, including contributions from other NATO countries.
Officials are hoping the pact, which will now go to Hamid Karzai and the Afghan parliament for ratification, will serve as a warning to insurgents that the US isn't simply abandoning Afghanistan. The agreement has been held up for months over Afghan demands that the US hand over control of its prisons, and stop its controversial night raids. Negotiators wound up agreeing to tackle those issues in separate agreements.