Wednesday, September 30, 2015

US plans no Afghan changes after fall of Kunduz

White House and Pentagon officials denounced on Tuesday a Taliban takeover of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, but said it was too early to know if it would change U.S. plans to drawdown troops from the country by the end of next year. 

"We strongly condemn the attacks in Kunduz, and stand with the Afghan people in our commitment to Afghanistan's peace and security," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters onboard Air Force One. 

“At this point, I don’t have any sort of immediate indication this will change the long-term strategy that is in place in Afghanistan," he said. Earnest said Afghan forces have already begun the battle to reclaim the city and have retaken several government buildings.

Gen. John Campbell, the top commander in Afghanistan, has reportedly forwarded to the Pentagon and coalition officials alternative options to the White House's current plan to drawdown forces from 9,800 currently to a few hundred next year. 

Critics of that plan are pressuring the White House suspend or reverse the withdrawal given a persistent threat from the Taliban, and a growing one from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afghanistan.

Earnest said the U.S. would continue to "work closely" with the Afghan government and coalition partners to ensure that Afghan forces "have the capabilities and training necessary to preserve the gains" made over the last 13 years.

And Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, "we're going to continue everything we can to encourage them in those efforts." 

However, Cook also said there were no plans to offer Afghan forces air support in the face of the threat, justifying a single U.S. airstrike near Kunduz Tuesday morning as necessary for the protection of coalition troops who were advising Afghan forces nearby. - Read More at thehill

US plans no Afghan changes after fall of Kunduz


Post a Comment

<< Home