Focus on BSA, drawdown timeline unchanged: US
WASHINGTON (PAN): The Pentagon on Tuesday said that there had been no change in its drawdown timeline even as there was some delay in the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Afghanistan.
"The focus right now is on the Bilateral Security Agreement, which is a cornerstone of the potential enduring presence we would have after the transition is made post 2014," the Pentagon press secretary said.
George Little told reporters the US was working closely with the government of Afghanistan to conclude the pact. A Loya Jirga on the issue is expected to convene in mid-November before the BSA text goes to the Afghan parliament.
"We understand that process has to unfold in the context of the Afghan political system and sovereignty. Once that process plays out, I think we would be in a firmer place to make some decisions on (a post-2014 troop presence)," Little added.
The Pentagon had the time and space to plan an orderly drawdown in 2014 and to prepare for an enduring presence if President Barak Obama directed it, he said. "There is no change in that date (for drawdown) at all."
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