US House chairman for more troops in Afghanistan
Washington: United States military leaders and the American ambassador favour a residual force of 13,600 in Afghanistan after combat troops leave at the end of 2014, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said on Thursday as President Barack Obama gets ready to decide on the matter.
A day after wrapping up his third trip to Afghanistan, Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon, a Republican, said a US force of 13,600 combined with coalition troops of some 6,000 would be "the one that has the least risk going forward".
McKeon said he met Marine General Joseph Dunford, the top commander in Afghanistan, during the trip and he favours a residual force of that size as does Ambassador James Cunningham.
"I think we dropped the ball on Iraq," McKeon said in an interview with a small group of reporters. "I don`t want to see that happen in Afghanistan."
Obama is expected to announce in the coming weeks the size of the US force after combat troops leave by December 31, 2014, with political pressure from a war-weary nation for the US to end its involvement in Afghanistan.
More than 2,000 Americans have died since 2001, more than 18,000 have been wounded and billions of dollars have been spent.
The 13,600 plus the additional 6,000 is far more than what US and NATO leaders discussed last month at a NATO meeting in Brussels. Officials had said then that they may keep a total force of between 8,000 and 12,000 troops in Afghanistan.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- ATM virus attack: Users of debit cards under threat!
- J&K govt suspends 12 officials on anti-national activities
- Security guard beats woman journalist publicly in Pakistan
- Bhubaneswar fire: Owner of SUM Hospital surrenders
- Pakistan violates ceasefire in J&K's Hiranagar; 7 Pak Rangers killed, BSF jawan injured
- MS Dhoni reacts in astonishment as Axar Patel takes a stunning one-handed catch - VIDEO
- BSP shrugs off Rita Bahuguna 's jump; says BJP will still face defeat in UP polls
- Navjot Singh Sidhu out on zero to Waqar Younis in 1990 – The match Kapil Sharma keeps talking about
- MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli? Here's Virender Sehwag's best ever reply
- Pierce Brosnan 'deeply shocked and saddened' because of Pan Masala brand ad