Romney pledges complete Afghan transition by 2014
Washington: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that if voted to power, he would ensure completion of successful transition to the Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.
"As President, my goal in Afghanistan will be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014. And I will evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders," Romney said in a major foreign policy speech in Nevada yesterday.
The Republican said he would ensure that his duty was "not to his political prospects, but to the security of the nation and the safety of our troops."
Romney accused President Barack Obama of believing that anyone who disagreed with his decision was arguing for and endless war, noting that "route to more war and potentially to attacks here at home is a politically timed retreat."
Although there was no mention of Pakistan in his speech, a fact sheet issued by the Republican`s campaign said that Romney would work with Islamabad "to sever" any connection between insurgent forces and Pakistan`s security and intelligence agencies.
It said Romney would use US leverage to ensure that these nations were fully contributing to the success of the mission.
"He (Romney) will make it clear to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the US commitment must be met with reciprocal efforts to crack down on corruption in his government, respect free and fair elections as required by the Afghan constitution and coordinate with the US on fighting the narcotics trade that fuels insurgency," the fact sheet said.
It added that Romney would cease Obama`s practice of "politicising decisions on troop levels and transition time tables" and in his first 100 days, he would order a full inter-agency review of the transition in Afghanistan to ensure successful transfer of combat operations by 2014.
"He (Romney) will review military and assistance presence to determine the level required to secure the gains and to train Afghan forces to the point where they can protect the sovereignty of Afghanistan on their own," it said, adding that withdrawal of US forces under Romney would be based on "conditions on the ground as assessed by military commanders."
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