Up to 12000 US troops may stay in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States may keep a force of 6,000 to 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when Afghan forces will be responsible for security across the country, a top American Senator has said.
“We are planning to keep a force of perhaps 6,000 to 12,000 after 2014 when all combat forces are to be out of Afghanistan,” Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said during a Congressional hearing.
A final decision in this regard is to be taken by President Barack Obama. He has not taken any decision so far.
“Almost 12 years later now, the war in Afghanistan is winding down as we prepare to hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces, and it appears that that country no longer serves as a safe haven for al-Qaida attacks against the US,” Levin said.
“Osama bin Laden is dead, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is in captivity, the ranks of al-Qaida leaders who planned and carried out the September 11 attacks have been severely degraded,” he added.
Levin said the US continues to hold detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the Bagram base in Afghanistan. America’s fight against al-Qaida continued not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, he concluded.
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