Afghans need US troops after 2014: US
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States and its allies need to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 so as to ensure security of the international commitment inside that country, a top Pentagon commander said on Monday.
Addressing a meeting of CEOs' Forum, organised by the Wall Street Journal, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said Afghanistan needed American and international troops to guarantee that the money committed to that country continued to flow.
"If security deteriorates to a point where the $6 billion in annual aid promised to Afghanistan dries up, then they can’t survive," Dempsey said, adding: "After 2014, Afghanistan can live without a ubiquitous presence of US military forces in the country but they can't live without any."
Meanwhile the State Department said the bilateral security agreement (BSA) was in the interest of both the countries. "This week, the Loya Jirga will meet to consider the BSA. We, of course, respect the Afghan process and continue to work for a positive outcome."
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters: "We believe that would be to the benefit of both countries. So that’s the message we’re conveying on the ground, and we’ll respect the process moving forward."
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