Afghanistan won’t be abandoned: Allen
Gen. John Allen hailed the “resounding commitment” by ISAF partner nations to the long-term support of an Afghan force in the post-2014 period.
On the conclusion of the ISAF session at the NATO summit in Chicago: “This spring and summer, the insurgents have come back to find that many of their caches are empty; their former strongholds are untenable; and a good many of their foot soldiers absent or unwilling to join the fight.”
Most importantly, he said in a statement, the fighters were facing a battle-tested and increasingly capable Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) that was also serving as a source of pride to the Afghan people and a symbol of unity for the country.
During the past year, the Afghan forces have expanded from 276,000 to 340,000. They will reach their full surge strength ahead of the scheduled deadline in October.
The expansion and professionalisation of Afghan forces allowed them to recover the remaining 23,000 US surge troops by this fall and continue to pressure the Taliban to reintegrate and reconcile, he added.
Gen. Allen called the summit was the clearest message yet that the Taliban and the enemies of the Afghan people would not win the war. Additionally, he said, the summit was a powerful signal of international support for an Afghan-led process of reconciliation.
“In this process resides the greatest hope for the Taliban for the future. In the wake of this historic NATO summit, as the Taliban see that their time grows short, they can choose to be part of the prosperous future of Afghanistan, but they can never prevail through violence and intimidation.”
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