US mulls post-2014 military presence in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Pentagon is working with the White House on various options for maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan after the 2014 pullout by NATO-led troops, US defense secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday.
General John Allen, commander of US and NATO forces Afghanistan, has worked on several options for a post-2014 military presence and a final decision is expected in the next few weeks, Panetta told reporters travelling with him on a three-nation tour of the Asia Pacific region.
“Gen. Allen has worked on several options that we are now reviewing and working with the White House on. My hope is that we'll be able to complete this process within the next few weeks. I'm confident that we're going to be able to get to the right number that we're going to need for the post-2014 enduring presence,” Leon Panetta said.
Allen, he added, is presenting the options based on the missions that they have to address in the enduring presence period -- missions like counterterrorism, training, advising and assisting the Afghan army. Panetta said all the proposals were being carefully reviewed and how respond to each of the missions, he said.
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