FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — After the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA and special operations forces were the first to go into Afghanistan, helping to drive the Taliban from power. Now, as America marks the 10th anniversary of the conflict, it appears they will be the last to leave.
The two groups are preparing for up to another decade of fighting there even as the bulk of U.S. forces plans for a withdrawal in 2014.
U.S. officials say the force left behind will again be largely devoted to counterterrorism. They will also train Afghans.
Intelligence and military officials envision the most likely scenario as a network of CIA officials feeding intelligence to special operations forces. Those forces would hunt al-Qaida in areas Afghan forces are unable to control.