No change in decisions on Afghanistan: US
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Obama administration has ruled out any change in its decisions regarding Afghanistan, particularly those related to troop numbers, due to the sudden resurgence of militancy in Iraq.
“It (Iraqi situation) does not change the approach that the (US) president announced recently that we are taking in Afghanistan,” said the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, when asked about the impact of developments in Iraq on Afghanistan.
“We are ending that combat mission this year, and we, pending the signing of a bilateral security agreement (BSA), will keep a smaller number of troops in Afghanistan focused exclusively on the missions that the president discussed,” Carney said.
He noted that “I think that the broader question has to be, when we talk about this, is should American men and women in uniform be fighting in Iraq today, and is that the right approach for our national security interests?”
“Should American forces be occupying countries for decades, or should we take the approach that the president took when he ended the war in Iraq and established a relationship with the sovereign government of Iraq, through which we can provide the kind of assistance we provide. That's the approach that he believes is the right approach to take, and it's certainly consistent with the strategy he's laid out in Afghanistan,” Carney said.
“We need to have, as the President laid out in his speech at West Point, a strategy that is focused on partnering with the security forces of other countries, that helps them develop the capacities necessary to deal with these kinds of threats, because we cannot have U.S. forces around the world in armed conflicts without end,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the US President, Barack Obama, in his meeting with the visiting Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, the situation in Afghanistan. Obama praised the Australian contribution there.
“Most recently, in Afghanistan, Australian troops have made enormous contributions and made enormous sacrifices, and we’re very grateful to them for that,” Obama told reporters in a brief media appearance with Abbott in his Oval Office.
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