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Uncertainty Clouds Afghan Pullout

The announcement of the Afghan pullout may have grabbed headlines, but the plan may be more difficult to enact than most realize. NATO and the United States has not decided which provinces it will hand over to Afghan control next year, according to officials, and there are no firm ideas for transition in parts of the country where the violence is especially bad. Meanwhile, the administration cannot agree on how to handle negotiations with the Taliban and what concessions it can make, according to Politico. “What concerns me is a dangerous mix of false optimism and a basic misunderstanding of the problem in Afghanistan, as well as a bias toward process solutions to political problems,” said a professor at the Naval War College. But the White House maintains it is in a position to deal with the drawdown effectively. “We are in a better place now than we were a year ago,” President Obama said.