US close to meeting objective of Afghan war: Obama
Islamabad: US President Barack Obama has said that by the end of next year, America’s war in Afghanistan would be over.
Obama said that the core objective, the reason America went to war, is now within reach-in ensuring that Al-Qaeda can never again use Afghanistan to launch attacks against America.
Obama announced the acceleration of the US military transition in Afghanistan, adding the US military would play a supporting role in the nation by this spring, reports The Dawn.
He said he wanted to update his nation "on how we will end this war, bring our troops home, and continue the work of rebuilding America".
Obama noted that the 33,000 additional troops he had sent to Afghanistan during his first term had completed their mission and returned home last fall.
He said he would announce the next phase of the drawdown in the coming months, and that by the end of next year, America’s war in Afghanistan will be over.
Obama warned that Afghanistan remained a very difficult mission as the work ahead would not be easy and US forces deployed there were still in harm``s way.
Obama promised to speed up a transfer of lead security responsibility from NATO to Afghan forces this spring. He said NATO forces would have a "very limited" role in the country after 2014 - "training, advising and assisting Afghan forces".
US commanders in Afghanistan are seeking 6,000 to 15,000 US troops after 2014 to continue pursuing armed groups and training Afghan security forces.
The White House, however, has suggested keeping between 3,000 and 9,000 troops in the country.
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