1,800 US troops to combat terror post-2014
BRUSSELS (Pajhwok): US top commander in Kabul Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford on Wednesday revealed about 1,800 American troops of the nearly 10,000 Washington plans to leave in Afghanistan post-2014 would be conducting counterinsurgency operations.
He told reporters at a NATO meeting here that other nations might also be willing to provide counterterror forces, although no final decisions had been made.
Dunford said he believed there would be no problem getting enough allied troops to reach the 12,000-force total which officials believed needed in Afghanistan to train and assist Afghan forces beyond 2014.
"Right now, I don't have any concerns getting to 12,000," said Dunford. Of that number, the US would contribute 8,000 to train and assist Afghan forces.
Italy, Germany and Turkey have all committed to providing forces to secure parts of the country. Next year, the US would have troops in the east and south, while the Italians will be largely in the west, the Germans in the north and the Turks in Kabul.
Asked for an assessment of the Taliban, Dunford told reporters that he believed there was friction within the insurgency.
NATO defence ministers meeting discussed which countries would continue to provide forces into 2015 and beyond.
The US has said it will leave 9,800 forces at the end of this year, cut that number about in half by the end of 2015 and have just a small force, in the hundreds, there after 2016.
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