White House hails Ghani as much better partner than Karzai
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Ashraf Ghani administration is a better partner of the United States than the previous government led by Hamid Karzai, the White House said on Wednesday.
The overall situation in Afghanistan had profoundly changed in the last two years, White House Press SecretaryJosh Earnest acknowledged at his daily news conference
“What's true is that there is a government in Afghanistan that frankly, just to put it like really bluntly, is a much better partner of the United States than the previous one,” he remarked.
Of course, he said, it was the Afghan people who chose their leadership, but based on effective work, the US currently had a much more reliable partner in trying to bring about the right kind of change.
Earnest added President Barack Obama had not yet taken any decision on troop numbers, which currently stands at 9,800. A sustained commitment to Afghanistan would be required after his presidency, he maintained.
“But I also think there is no denying the remarkable progress that we have made in Afghanistan to decimate core Al Qaeda, build up governing institutions there and reduce the military sacrifices that the US was making before Obama took office,” he observed.
Obama, he said, had not received the new set of recommendations from his general based in Afghanistan. Once the president gets a recommendation, he will make a decision. “But I don't have a timeframe to share in terms of when that recommendation will be presented...”
While valuing the important contribution NATO allies are making to that effort, Earnest admitted the US would not have made the progress it had seen in Afghanistan without the substantial cooperation from members of the alliance.
“The situation in Afghanistan has profoundly changed, not just if you quantify it based on troop levels, but what's also true is we have succeeded in decimating core Al Qaida that previously operated with virtual impunity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region…”
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