Washington, Dec 21: US forces could remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014, the top most American commander in the country has said asserting that there will be no thin out of troops from the eastern part of the country close to the borders of Pakistan.
General John R Allen, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said negotiations were on with the Afghan government on a strategic partnership agreement for what “a post-2014 force will look like” in the war torn country.
“We would probably see number of advisers, trainers, intelligence specialists here for some period of time beyond 2014,” the General told The New York Times in an interview.
The commander's remarks, the Times said, amounted to the most emphatic signal till date that the US military intended to secure a presence here, “possibly for years.”
Allen said the American troop pullback would continue but would be cushioned by some western miltary for the Afghan forces in the field.
At the same time, the General said that American special forces, who are heavily involved in many intelligence driven raids and often more dangerous operations, would remain at current level or even increase as the conventional troops were reduced.
In significant remarks, the American commander said there would be no drawdown of US forces in eastern Afghanistan, where he said “a pretty virulent insurgency” remains a problem.