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New policy doesn’t mean return to combat: Pentagon

New policy doesn’t mean return to combat: Pentagon

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Dec 16, 2017 - 09:01

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Trump administration’s new strategy for South Asia does not mean a return to US-led combat operations in Afghanistaninfo-icon, the Pentagon says.

The key to success lay in improving Afghan forces’ capabilities and allowing them to lead the fight against the Talibaninfo-icon, the Department of Defense said in a report to Congress.

It added: "We will continue to work by, with, and through the ANDSF to help them defeat their enemies and to ultimately arrive at a political settlement in Afghanistan."

According to the Press Trust of India, the Pentagon hailed India as Afghanistan's "most reliable regional partner" and welcomed additional economic, medical and civic support from New Delhi to Kabul.

Titled 'Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan', the report acknowledged India provides significant training opportunities for Afghan officers and enlisted personnel. About 130 Afghans travel to India each year to attend various military and commissioning programmes.

"The new South Asia policy highlighted our relationship with India and called on India to provide more assistance to the international efforts in Afghanistan. The US welcomes additional Indian economic, medical, and civic support to Afghanistan."

The Pentagon explained: "Our purpose in Afghanistan remains the same: to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven from which terrorist groups can plan and execute attacks on the US, or our allies and citizens abroad...”

The US would continue to support the Afghan government and security forces in the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Islamic State and other insurgents to strengthen the Afghan government and prevent reestablishment of terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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