Thursday, August 04, 2005


NATO to replace US troops in Afghanistan in 2006

USA Today is carrying an AP report indicating that a multi-national Nato force will replace the 17,000 US combat troops currently stationed throughout Afghanistan for the purpose of providing security:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — NATO-led international troops will be ready to assume responsibility for security across all of Afghanistan by the end of next year, freeing up thousands of American forces, a top NATO general said Thursday.

There has long been a plan to expand the 10,000-strong NATO force here into Afghanistan's volatile south and east, but the timing for its completion has never been specific. Washington has long sought such a move, hoping to relieve many of its 17,600 front-line troops still here.

"We are in a position that we can take over the responsibility for all of Afghanistan in the course of the next year," said Gen. Gerhard Back, who oversees the International Security Assistance Force mission from his base in Brunssum, the Netherlands.

He made the comments to reporters after a ceremony marking the change of the command of ISAF from a Turkish general to Italian Lt. Gen. Mauro Del Vecchio.

ISAF already maintains security in the capital, Kabul, and the country's north and west. It plans to increase its size and take over from the U.S.-led coalition in the violence-wracked south early next year, before gradually moving into the east.

It is not clear how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after NATO takes command of security for all the country, ISAF spokesman Riccardo Cristoni said. But most American forces that do stay would be led by NATO, he said.Cristoni said it was also not clear whether the United States would keep a separate force dedicated to hunting Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders believed to be hiding along the mountainous Afghan-Pakistani border.

Gee, maybe there really wasn't a secret US plan to build a gas pipeline across Afghanistan and keep it for ourselves forever!?

Does anybody think we WON'T maintain forces hunting for terrorists throughout Afghanistan and along the Pakistani border after the main troop withdrawal?

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]