Afghanistan is America’s longest war and it is a war that by every measure has been a failure, especially for the people of Afghanistan. One in three Afghans lives in absolute poverty. Half the urban population doesn’t have access to safe water. So, America's longest occupation has done nothing for the people of Afghanistan, and that is why there is no security.
The number of US troops will be reduced from 10,000 to 5,500 by 2017. Obama makes no mention of there now more than 30,000 US paid contractors in Afghanistan. That’s huge and it’s much larger: the contractors used to be of equal number to the troops - now there are three times as many.