National Security Brief: Complete Withdrawal From Afghanistan Unlikely

The Wall Street Journal reports that a senior NATO official told the paper that the Obama administration has not asked senior military commanders to assess the impact of a total withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. “U.S. and NATO commanders have been asked to provide advice on what could be achieved with U.S. and allied troop numbers at various levels—but nothing on a complete drawdown,” the officer told the Journal. Meanwhile, James Cunningham, the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan said on Thursday that peace talks with the Taliban are virtually non-existent.

In other news:

  • Reuters reports: U.N. nuclear inspectors returned from Iran on Friday without securing an agreement to investigate suspected atom bomb research, they said after two days of talks in Tehran.
  • The New York Times reports: Britain said on Friday that an Algerian military operation against kidnappers in the Sahara was not over and the fate of some captives remained unclear a day after Algeria mounted an assault on heavily armed fighters holding American and other hostages at a remote gas field facility.
  • CNN reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked her staff to review security for American diplomats, businesses and citizens in the entire Maghreb and North Africa region, in response to the hostage-taking in Algeria, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday.
  • (Photo: Jose Cabezas/AFP/Getty Images)