The United States has requested the use of nine large military bases in Afghanistan after international forces complete their combat mission here at the end of next year, Afghan President Hamid Karzai  said Thursday.
In the first public disclosure of the number of bases under discussion in security talks between the U.S. and Afghanistan, Karzai indicated that he would agree to the U.S. request. But he said Washington must provide unspecified "security and economic" guarantees in return.
But, of course, neither non-combat combat forces nor combat non-combat forces nor even plain old combat forces will ever do enough combatting to win Karzai's government the support of the people of Afghanistan. So, at some point, ending the war is going to have to involve ending the war.