0316sennott.mp3

American troops could remain in Afghanistan well into 2016, according to U.S. officials—a reversal of strategy from the Obama Administration's original plan to reduce the number of troops to 5,500 by the end of 2015.

Why? In a showdown between those in the administration favoring a swift withdrawal and  military leaders wary of the rise of extremism in the region, the latter won, said Charles Sennott, co-founder of GlobalPost and head of The GroundTruth Project

"It's a really interesting dividing line in the administration between Ash Carter, Secretary of Defense—who was recently in Afghanistan, who went and saw from his point of view the need for these troops to stay—and Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, who's going to purportedly, according to those inside Washington, hold the line and start the drawdown," Sennott said.

"I don't think she's going to win," he continued.

That's because policymakers have seen what can result when troops withdraw, Sennott explained, pointing to the rise of ISIS after American forces left Iraq. Though he maintained there's "no shortage of will" to leave Afghanistan on the part of the Obama Administration, the last thing they want is another ISIS.

"I think [Obama]'s recognizing the facts have changed on the ground. In Afghanistan, those facts are not quite as perilous as they are inside Iraq, but I think they could be," Sennott said.

"We are going to be in it for the long haul," he said. 

To hear more from Charles Sennott, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.