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Loss in Afghanistan could result in regional instability: US

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 12:37

Washington: An American loss in Afghanistan could result in instability in the region with re-emergence of extremist groups, a top Pentagon official has told lawmakers.

"The region will become unstable. I think there will be problems on Pakistan`s border. Iran will be encouraged to become even more regionally aggressive," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey told Senators.

"We could find a re-emergence of violent extremist groups," he said during a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.

"The difference between winning and losing is certainly what we do between now and the end of `14 but also, I think, the commitment we make beyond," Dempsey said.

During the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham said, "We don`t need a hundred thousands troops in Afghanistan post- 2014. I think we need a residual force to maintain confidence and capabilities the Afghans do not have so we can end this war well."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said next year`s Presidential elections in Afghanistan is key component because it is about confidence, it is about self-governance, it is about rights.

Dempsey said after recent set-backs in relationship with Pakistan the Unites States is gradually re-building it.

"When I testified last year, the effects of the November 2011 border incident with Pakistan were still fresh, and tensions were as high as any time since the Osama bin Laden raid. Measured, but steady civilian-military engagement with Pakistani leadership led to the reopening of the Ground Lines of Communication in July 2012," he said.

"We are gradually rebuilding our relationship - as reflected in the recent signing of a tripartite border document to standardize complementary cross-border operations - and will continue to do so with Pakistan`s new leadership following its historic election last month," he said.

First Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 12:36

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