US military to have small presence in Afghan post 2014



US military to have small presence in Afghan post 2014 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 Afghan reconciliation.



"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.

PTI