US Troops will have training and advisory role in Afghanistan by mid 2013
Fri Feb 03, 3:16 pm
US Defense Minister Leon Panetta says the US war strategy in Afghanistan will be reduced by mid 2013 and they would have only training and advisory role with Afghan forces.
Meanwhile, Mr. Panetta called all NATO members states to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan according to the Lisbon summit.
Mr. Panetta said that the US troops are expected to end their combat role and continue training and advisory role with Afghan forces from mid 2013 till end of 2013 and meet the demands of Lisbon Treaty.
According to Lisbon Summit which held in November 2010; 2014 was set as deadline to complete the process of transferring the security responsibilities to Afghan forces.
This is the first time that a high ranking U.S. official set the deadline to change US military combat role in Afghanistan.
The issue of withdrawal of the NATO troops from Afghanistan reached a critical stage after the killing of four French soldiers by an Afghan soldier and President Karzai’s recent visit to European countries.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced the suspension of French military activities and training in Afghanistan as Four French soldiers were shot dead by Afghan soldier.
While meeting with President Karzai in Paris, President Sarkozy agreed to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan in 2013.
Mr. Sarkozy also asked United States and other NATO member states to handover the security responsibilities to Afghan security forces by the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Interior Ministry said that the capacity building of Afghan forces required more time and the security transition must be implemented in appropriate time.
Currently, there are about 90 thousand US soldiers in Afghanistan and are expected to leave Afghanistan next year. The US Defense Ministry said that it is not decided that how many US soldiers will be withdrawn from Afghanistan this year.