Senator wants Obama to decide on troop levels by July 8
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Expressing concern over the current situation in Afghanistan, a top American senator on Friday urged President Barack Obama to take an early decision on the troop numbers in that country beyond 2016.
“I write to express my deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan, and the current uncertainty regarding the US commitment to maintain forces sufficient to secure our national security interests in the region,” wrote Senator Bob Corker.
Also chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee,the lawmaker hoped Obama would not delay the critical decision further, and would accord commanders’ recommendations a response in advance of the July 8 Warsaw Summit of NATO.
To Corker, the Warsaw summit represents the best opportunity to generate the essential continued support of each of US allies in the endeavor.
“You can foster this by delivering a clear message about US leadership and commitment in the effort to secure a stable and democratic Afghanistan … it is important to counter any misgivings about our ability or commitment to confront terrorists,” he conctinued.
Gen John Nicholson, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has submitted a report that is expected to include recommendations for the president to postpone the planned reduction of forces at the end of the year.
Corker, who visited Kabul earlier this year, also called on the president to listen to the advice of his military commanders and maintain the existing US security presence, which is necessary to protect our national security interests in the region and help Afghanistan counter the resurgence of the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
“According to our commanders, retaining our current military footprint would provide political space while also affording the United States continued access to counter global terror networks operating in the region,” he said.
“It is important to reinforce our commitment in a timely way with Afghanistan and its partners. I hope your response to their recommendation will sustain current force levels going forward and will be delivered well ahead of the Warsaw Summit,” Corker concluded.
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