Direct conflict will come to an end this year: Pentagon
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The direct conflict in the sense of a traditional war will come to an end this year, top Pentagon leadership told lawmakers on Tuesday.
“The (US) President has given very clear guidance, that he sees us coming off of a wartime footing; that we're moving forward to look at -- the threats will be there, but direct conflict in the sense of a traditional war, we see that coming to an end,” Michael Lumpkin, Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.
A similar view was expressed by the White House too.
“By the end of this year, our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over. The vast majority of our troops will be home, and the United States will continue taking steps to move off a long-term war footing,” the National Security Advisor, Susan Rice said.
Rice went on to say that “we are making our fight against al-Qai’da and its affiliates sustainable by developing a comprehensive counter-terrorism policy that is more agile and adapted to meet evolving threats. By necessity, it must draw on every element of our national power and pull together expertise from across our government to design and implement a more effective, long-term counter-terrorism strategy.”
In his testimony before a Congressional committee, Lumpkin said the threat that the US faces, especially from al-Qaida, is continuing to change.
“Although the scale of the threat to the homeland has diminished, threats to our interests overseas are increasing. With their leadership depleting, al-Qaida still retains sanctuaries in remote areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Terrorist organizations are also expanding in Syria, North Africa and the Sahel. The threat continues to evolve. We must maintain our pressure on terrorist organizations to protect the homeland,” he said.
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