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Wednesday 14 December 2011

US: Afghanistan plan could lessen combat role of NATO

US: Afghanistan plan could lessen combat role of NATO



Associated Press (2011-12-09 18:18:31)
Pakistani fire fighters try to extinguish burning NATO oil tankers after allegedly torched by militants at a terminal on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. Assailants torched more than 20 tankers in Pakistan carrying fuel for U.S. and NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, the first reported attack since Islamabad closed the border to protest coalition airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops last month. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
The senior American commander, Gen. John R. Allen of the Marine Corps in Afghanistan declared on Tuesday , his next year plans for Afghanistan would focus on disposing American troops as well as allied military trainers directly within Afghan security units. He believed it could lessen the direct combat role of NATO and accelerate local forces’ taking the head in a producing number of missions.Gen. John Allen told reporters in Kabul, small teams of US advisers would move forward to Afghanistan to live and fight with Afghan army units starting in 2012 in order to hope large US combat units will be able to gradually step back from the lead role in providing security and to withdraw completely by the end of 2014.
The US is still trying to make up relations with Pakistan after the US helicopter attacks on a Pakistan border post in late November and that moreover, killed 24 Pakistani troops. On the other hand, Pakistan has closed border crossings through which NATO ships around 30% of its supplies, forcing the US to rely more heavily on northern supply routes through Russia. Allen said he had spoken with Gen.
“I do have a sense of progress,” General Allen said, noting that he ended his discussions confident that Pakistan wants “to restore as much normalcy as we can to the border coordination as early as we can.”
So far, there are nearly 94,000 US troops in Afghanistan and that furthermore, a number scheduled to less to 91,000 by the end of the month and to 68,000 by the end of next summer. With the US reduction already under way and that moreover, Western armies have started to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan compels in some parts of the country and some of those areas have seen upticks in crackdowns by the Taliban and other rebels.

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