‘US will maintain military presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014’
An analyst says America and its allies have planned to leave a residual force of more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan passed 2014, contrary to the agreement.
In the background of this, American pilots are currently under special training ready to be deployed to Afghanistan in coming months in what appears to be a renewed build up by certain US forces. 66,000 US troops are stationed in Afghanistan. America is expected to honor a 2014 agreed deadline to withdraw from the country.
Press TV has interviewed Mr. Mohammad Daoud Abadi, Chairman of the Afghanistan National Peace Council, Los Angeles about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: We see American pilots training in conditions similar to that of Afghanistan. Are we preparing for a longer stay of US troops in Afghanistan do you think?
Abadi: Thank you for inviting me again I appreciate it. Before I answer that question I’d like to thank Press TV for it’s worldwide media presence and being honest on the matters, we do appreciate that very, very much.
In response to your question I must say that what we hear from the US government is that they’re planning to leave a 6,000 to 9,000 fighting force in Afghanistan after 2014. That plus another 5,000 from NATO allies.
What I’m hearing – I hope it’s not correct, but what I’m hearing from the media and from different sources is that the US has planned to leave these 6,000 soldiers in Baghram airport, Kandahar in the south and Jalalabad in the East.
They are planning to have the Spaniards in Hira and Shindand airport, which is close to the Iranian border, to the Italians and on the North the Mazar e Sharif, the Germans still be staying.
To be honest and to look at it from a technical point of view this residual force will not be a force to really do the terrorist war or against terrorist activities because let’s say that if they are in Baghram airport and they fly from Baghram airport to Kandahar to do an operation, it is a 2 hour flight of 350 kilometers distance – it takes two hours for a helicopter to get there.
So in general this residual force is there for some other purpose other than what is claimed. Therefore this policy as I have said, this time the Pentagon will fail on this again and I don’t think this is something that they can count on.
Press TV: Just how much has President Hamid Karzai been a president to the Afghan people and tried to help efforts to oust the US occupiers from Afghanistan?
Abadi: Based on yesterday’s report Mr. Karzai is coming to Washington in early January and they will hopefully be talking about future issues in Afghanistan as well as the matter of residual forces.
President Karzai is going to make the biggest mistake of his life if he agrees to residual forces because that will mean the continuation of war in Afghanistan.
As I have said before the Mujaheddin of Afghanistan have put this condition even at the 19th of December meeting in Paris – this was the first condition that both sides the Taliban and Jamiat e Islami of Afghanistan put on the table.
Therefore what Mr. Karzai is going to sign with them based on their immunity issues, that is not going to work. As for US forces they are defeated now they were defeated then.