Taliban scoff at continued American military presence
Obama on Thursday announced 9,800 American troops would remain in Afghanistan through next year, citing increased Islamic State and Taliban activities in the war-hit country.
Speaking at a White House press conference, Obama said he had also decided to keep 5,500 troops in Kabul and at a few bases, including those in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar during the same timeframe.
Also on Friday, President Ashraf Ghani welcomed Obama’s announcement on keeping more than 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of his term.
Reacting to the development, the Taliban said Obama’s decision -- whether driven by the Afghan government’srequest or any other obligation, lacked wisdom.
Keeping US troops in Afghanistan would not promote the interest of either country, the Taliban said in a statement. Instead the move would harm the US and its stooges, the insurgent movement warned.
Obama’s decision showed he was not interested in withdrawingUS forces, and that he had once again deceived Afghans and Americans, the statement added.
An American military presences, however long, would not affect the Taliban’s struggle and the US would have to rethink its decision when the movement stepped up attacks on its soldiers, the statement said.
America’s war cost and casualties would escalate, according to the statement. When the US could not win the war in the presence of tens of thousands of soldiers, how only 5,500 troops would achieve that objective, the Taliban asked.
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