How Long In Afghanistan?

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke to the media about how long will US forces be fighting in Afghanistan. He responded it was a mystery that involved a variety of possible clues that have yet to be thoroughly investigated. He mentioned a variety of variables that were in play in regard to the time required to finish whatever has to be done in Afghanistan. For example:

The ability of US and NATO forces to knock down violence levels.
Foreign Policy officers ability to help establish a sound government structure for Afghanistan.
Building a sound economy and creating jobs.
The outcome of the upcoming Afghan presidential election.

He thought the US might be able to achieve a solution to some of the mysteries in the coming year, but nothing is guaranteed. It is interesting that his list does not mention the emergence of a powerful Afghanistan army. I wonder why.

Perhaps, this is a case for Sherlock Holmes. After all, he couldn’t do any worse than those currently in charge of solving the mystery. On the other hand, perhaps, America should gird itself for fighting in Afghanistan in 2025. That would enable children of those fighting to share with dad and mom the opportunity to investigate the interesting sights of Afghanistan.