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After “withdrawal” U.S. will keep 9 Afghan bases

The concept of military withdrawal -- especially from Afghanistan -- has long been a flimsy one. Let alone the presence of contractors that are not counted among official troop numbers, withdrawal from Afghanistan has never meant that the country would be totally without a U.S. military presence. On Thursday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that the U.S. hoped to maintain nine military bases across Afghanistan --  a large deployment that stands at odds with claims of a more robust security handover from U.S. to Afghan forces.

"We can agree to give them the bases – them staying on after 2014 is for the good of Afghanistan," Karzai said in a speech at Kabul University. "The condition is that they bring peace and security and take action quickly … on the basic strengthening of Afghanistan, helping the economy of Afghanistan."

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