The United States and NATO announced they would continue to occupy Afghanistan through at least 2014. The prior "we will have won the war and be ready to leave our puppet Afghan army to suppress the people" date was 2011.
It is very, very clear that the U.S.A. has not prevailed in Afghanistan.
There is a fundamental reason for that. Except for a few Afghans on the American payroll, no one in Afghanistan likes the American occupation. That does not mean they like the Taliban, the group most likely to rule Afghanistan when, or I should say if, America ever exits.
It is getting to be a rather long war. In 2002 the U.S. dropped in a load of weapons to the Taliban's enemies in Afghanistan, an assortment of tribes and warlords who did not fancy some other group giving them orders. With some air support and occasional support from U.S. troops, these allies were able to destroy the Taliban government. The puritanism of the Taliban had made it unpopular with many Afghans; puritans always do that.
That was under President George W. Bush. Except that it is important to keep in mind that important matters are not decided by U.S. Presidents, they are decided by a permanent military-industrial complex that supplies the very information even Presidents use in their decision making. Having "won" in Afghanistan, Bush then invaded Iraq.
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, it only took a couple of years for U.S. allies to make themselves unpopular. The Taliban were not some elected party that quickly fell apart when the campaign donations ceased to roll in. Afghans are a pretty astute people, on the whole. As bad as the local Taliban can be at government, they are mostly preferred to war lords. And even the war lords are to be preferred to rule by the United States, Russia, or NATO.
So the Taliban administered justice, and let up on some of the puritan stuff. U.S. allies administered corruption and injustice. The Taliban, by 2006, were the de facto real government of much of Afghanistan.
That year the Democratic Party ran many of its campaign for Congress on the idea that the U.S. should withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. A few candidates were probably sincere about this, but most just wanted votes and knew quite well they were not willing to take on the military-industrial complex. Plus if they used their majority in Congress to cut off funds for the wars, they would not be able to recycle the campaign issue in the 2008 elections.
In 2008 many American voters thought that a vote for Barack Obama and for Democratic Party candidates in general was a vote for peace.
Instead, Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress expanded the war in Afghanistan.
Don't think they, and their Republican Party allies, are stupid. All of them know that no imperial power has ultimately won a war of occupation in this last century. They know they cannot win in Afghanistan. They don't want to win in Afghanistan. They want to serve the military-industrial complex. And the military-industrial complex wants to serve itself. It does not want to admit that it no longer is backed by sufficient economic muscle to tell everyone in the world what's what. But it does want to test its old weapons, buy new ones, and give the troops combat experience. The industrial part of the complex never saw a taxpayer dollar it didn't like.
In 2009 Barack Obama said he would send more troops, and that would allow the U.S. to withdraw most troops in 2011. He was buying time for his masters, the military establishment.
The people of Afghanistan are still going to be in Afghanistan in 2014. Some will be willing puppets, but not enough to keep themselves in power if the U.S. withdraws its support.
Just figure the 2014 date is meaningless. Except that it is 2 years after the 2012 election. Expect both military-industrial complex owned parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, to pledge to get out of Afghanistan by 2014 during the 2012 elections.
How can you tell when a politician is lying?