“The United States will request from our Congress assistance for Afghanistan at or near the levels of the past decade through the year 2017.”

— Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking of the continuing U.S. commitment to Afghanistan, Sunday in Tokyo. This chart suggests the U.S. will be paying $3 billion a year for the next five years — some $15 billion. Shorthand: the troops may be coming home, but the money will continue to flow.

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