Ackerman decodes the new agreement:
The deal Obama and Karzai inked isn’t a withdrawal accord. It’s a drawdown agreement that turns over combat responsibilities to the Afghan security forces by the end of 2014 — although the top Obama aides emphasized that much of that transition will actually occur next year. After 2014, the U.S. will guarantee Afghanistan’s security and financial stability for at least another decade. Most U.S. troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014. But the U.S. will retain a residual force of as-yet-unknown size to train Afghan troops through at least 2016; special operations forces will continue to raid Afghan villages for suspected insurgents; and big Afghan airbases will continue to be launching pads for the drone war over Pakistan — the war that targets bin Laden’s remaining allies.