Carter satisfied with Afghan security efforts
WASHINGTON (PAN): Having complete confidence in the way Afghan security forces have developed over the past few years, a top Pentagon official has said the campaign to secure Afghanistan is going extremely well.
“In the campaign to secure Afghanistan, we are doing extremely well,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told a Washington audience. Carter was recently in Afghanistan talking to the top Afghan leadership and reviewing the situation there.
“I've only admiration. I was all over the country. I've been there many times. I've watched this thing grow over the years, and I've complete confidence and admiration in the way the Afghan security forces have developed and are now doing things,” he said.
But a strong political will was needed to continue the process, especially the bilateral security agreement (BSA), he said, believing the pact could be signed over the next month.
Responding to question following his remarks at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based Indian think-tank, Carter thought India could -- and should -- play a role in Afghanistan's future.
“That will always cause scrutiny on the part of Pakistan. There's a lot of history there, involving India, Pakistan, Russia, Europe. The United States is a relative new comer to things in that area. But I think India can overcome that history and continue to play a role,” he remarked.
India had played an important role already in Afghanistan, Carter acknowledged. Besides helping ANSF training, Delhi had extended economic, humanitarian and educational assistance, he said.
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