U.S. says troop plan only guarantees NATO Afghan mission until end-2015




 
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June 3rd, 2014  
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Topic: U.S. says troop plan only guarantees NATO Afghan mission until end-2015


By David Brunnstrom and Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's decision to reduce U.S. troop numbers in Afghanistan means a NATO plan to train Afghan security forces throughout the country is guaranteed to last only until the end of next year, the U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Monday. Obama last week outlined a plan to withdraw all but 9,800 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year and to pull out the rest by the end of 2016, ending a more than decade-old combat role triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. Defense ministers from the 28 NATO nations, meeting in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, will discuss the implications of the U.S. timetable for NATO's plans to launch a new mission, dubbed "Resolute Support", next year to train and advise Afghan forces after most NATO combat troops leave by the end of 2014. Several NATO diplomats said the U.S. timetable raises questions about whether the alliance's plan to train the Afghan army from regional bases around Afghanistan can last for more than one year, given the reduced U.S. presence after that.




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