Afghanistan mission on track, US, UK concur
WASHINGTON (PAN): US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and his British counterpart Philip Hammond on Thursday said their mission in Afghanistan was on track, reiterating their commitment to building strong and effective Afghan security forces.
“As transition to Afghan security control continues, the United Kingdom will continue to play an important role in helping field strong and effective Afghan national security forces,” Hagel told reporters at a joint Pentagon news conference with Hammond.
Hagel and Hammond discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and their post-2014 plans. “As we emerge from more than a decade of war of shared sacrifice, our discussions focused on preparing this alliance for the future,” Hagel said.
Speaking on the occasion, Hammond said: “We remain determined to see through our vital task of preventing Afghanistan once again from becoming a safe haven for international terrorists.”
The visiting dignitary added the events of the last few days had shown that both militaries continued to take risks as they carried out their dangerous tasks in Afghanistan.
“But the mission remains on track, and the increasingly capable Afghan security forces now lead in providing security for nearly 90 percent of the Afghan population,” he said.
Roughly 80 percent of all security operations were led by Afghan forces, whose capability would continue to grow as ISAF forces drew down towards the conclusion of their combat mission by the end of next year, Hammond concluded.
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