Washington: The plan of President Barack Obama in Afghanistan includes defeating al Qaeda, transfer
security lead to the Afghan forces and withdrawal of American
troops from the country, a top US official has said.
"The President`s plan envisions an end to this war, and
not just the hope for an end but the concrete measures that
need to be taken to withdraw US forces, to transfer security
lead over to Afghan forces, to give control of the country to
Afghan forces so that our men and women can come home," White
House Press Secretary Jay Carney said after Obama had a
telephonic talk with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.
"The two men very much share the goal of Afghanistan
being able to be responsible for its own security, for Afghan
forces to be able to do that and have the capacity to do that,
and for mission to be successful, which is to further erode
and ultimately defeat al Qaeda and allow Afghanistan to be
stable enough so that it will not become a haven for al Qaeda
in the future," Carney said.
Obama and Karzai discussed the latter`s concern about US
forces in Afghan villages.
Within the context of a discussion about the transition
that is already underway and is taking place that will result
in US forces turning over to Afghan forces greater and greater
responsibility to the point where they have the combat lead by
2013 and full lead by 2014, the two leaders were very much on
the same page, he added.
However, he insisted the pace and scope of it would be
determined based on ground realities.
"There have been ongoing changes in the disposition and
location of US and ISAF forces for a long time now as we have
begun this transition and begun to draw down US forces.
That will continue.
So there are places where US forces were more out in the
field, if you will, and less now; and less before and more
now. That`s part of an overall strategy. But those kinds of
on-the-ground decisions will be made within the framework of
the overall strategy, but more at a ground level," he said.
Carney said Obama and Karzai discussed a variety of
issues with regards to the mission in Afghanistan.
"I think what is clear from the readout of the call is
that the two leaders agree that within the context of the
Lisbon framework, which will result in transfer of full
responsibility for Afghan security to Afghan forces by the end
of 2014, we will, as the President has said, reach a milestone
at some point in 2013, where Afghans will take the lead in
combat operations," he said.
"US forces will continue to partner with the Afghan
forces but will be in a support mode. So this is all part of a
gradual transition that results in the fulfillment of the
Lisbon framework by the end of 2014," the White House