Some US troops to stay in Afghanistan till 2024: Report
Washington: A US plan, outlined recently in the US media, has stated that American troops will stay in Afghanistan until 2024 as Washington will not allow the Taliban to take over that country.
The Obama administration''s new Afghan policy has now also been confirmed by the outgoing US ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker, reports The Dawn.
Crocker has said the American military, including some combat troops, will stay in Afghanistan for at least 10 years after the expected US withdrawal in 2014.
According to US media reports, the troops will include Special Forces soldiers and an effective air power to contain the rebels.
Crocker added that the new plan was also acceptable to Pakistan, which recently allowed two Taliban representatives to travel to Japan to attend a June 28 international conference on Afghanistan.
He noted that the Kyoto meeting might have had some tacit support from Pakistan, where much of the top Taliban leadership is based.
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, he said, was likely keeping tabs on insurgents and their travels.
"They had to get out of Pakistan to get there. My guess is that the ISI said, 'OK'," Crocker said.
He gave two reasons for this change in the ISI's and Taliban's attitude: One, Pakistan is increasingly feeling the ''blowback'' of terrorism, two, the US plan to stay in Afghanistan at least up to 2024.
The US plan, he argued, had made it abundantly clear that Washington would not accept a Taliban takeover in Kabul.