Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that American military would have a small
presence in Afghanistan after 2014 and their main role would
be reduced to training and advising the local forces.
"We anticipate that a small number of forces will remain,
at the invitation of the Afghan Government, for the sole
purpose of training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces and
continuing to pursue counterterrorism operations," she said.
"But we do not seek permanent American military bases in
Afghanistan or a presence that is considered a threat to the
neighbors, which leads to instability that threatens the gains
that have been made in Afghanistan," Hillary said in her
address to the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Conference.
Hillary said by the end of 2014, Afghans will be fully
responsible of their own security.
"In Chicago we will discuss the form that NATO's enduring
relationship with Afghanistan will then take. We also hope
that, by the time we meet in Chicago, the United States will
have concluded our negotiations with Afghanistan on a long-
term strategic partnership between our two nations," she said.
According to the Secretary of State, it is essential that
the Afghan National Security Forces have worked so hard to
have sufficient, sustainable funding for the long run.
"We're consulting with allies and partners to reach a
unified vision for how we can support these forces. We want to
make it clear to the Afghan Government and the Afghan people,
as well as to the insurgents and others in the region that
NATO will not abandon Afghanistan," she said.
Hillary said the US remains committed to supporting
"Our goal is to open the door for Afghans to sit down
with other Afghans and work out the future for their country.
The United States has been clear about the necessary outcomes
of any negotiation," she said.
"Insurgents must renounce violence, abandon al Qaeda, and
abide by the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, including
its protections for women and minorities. If Afghanistan is
ever going to reach its full potential, the rights of women,
minorities, and all Afghans must be protected, and their
opportunities to participate in their society must be
preserved," Hillary said.
First Published: Wednesday, April 04, 2012, 17:18