Thousands of US troops may stay for decades in Afghanistan
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Thousands of American troops may be needed to remain in Afghanistan for decades, US military commanders have warned the Obama administration.
A report in Wednesday’s edition of the Washington Postquoted a senior Pentagon official as telling journalists about a withdrawal from Afghanistan: “What we’ve learned is that you can’t really leave.”
He argued Afghan forces -- needing air support, intelligence and help with logistics -- were not going to be ready in three or five years. “You have to be there for a very long time.”
Many Republican and Democratic foreign policy advisors, looking beyond the Obama presidency which ends this year, are reportedly ready to endorse a long-term American presence in Afghanistan.
The influential newspaper said the commanders’ assessment made it impossible for the Obama administration to withdraw most of soldiers from Afghanistan by early 2017, as it had planned.
Following the departure of most foreign forces two years ago, the report said, the Taliban had significantly increased their influence in by seizing a number of districts and inflicting sizable losses on government forces.
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