The US reportedly plans to keep some 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan after the end of the formal combat operations in 2014, reflecting Washington's plan for long-term presence in the war-torn country. Quoting unnamed senior US officials, the Wall Street Journal revealed the plan by the US administration on Sunday.
The report added that General John Allen, the commander of US and foreign forces in Afghanistan, had also recommended that the administration of US President Barack Obama maintain a post-2014 force of between 6,000 and 15,000 troops in Afghanistan.The report claimed that the troops will “conduct training and counterterrorism efforts” when US-led soldiers leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014. There are currently about 67,000 American and 37,000 NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. “Some outside defense analysts have said it would require a much larger US presence - perhaps as many as 30,000 troops - to continue to train the Afghan security forces and keep Afghanistan stable,” the daily said. On May 2, Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a deal that authorizes the presence of US troops for a period of 10 years after 2014, which was the original date agreed earlier for the departure of all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan. The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains rampant across the country. DB/HMV/HJL