Biden says US troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if asked

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

KABUL - US Vice President Joe Biden has pledged that his country would continue to help Afghanistan beyond the 2014 target, which was set by both countries to have Afghan forces fully in charge of their own security.

During his visit to the war-torn country, Baiden reportedly toured a training academy for Afghan soldiers, had lunch with President Hamid Karzai and said he was confident of the effectiveness of the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy.

“It is not our intention to govern or to nation-build. As President Karzai often points out, this is the responsibility of the Afghan people, and they are fully capable of it,” but “”if the Afghan people want it, we won’t leave in 2014,” The Washington Post quoted him, as saying.

NATO, including the United States, has pledged ongoing economic and security assistance beyond 2014, and America is separately negotiating its own long-term strategic accord with Afghanistan. It is unclear whether any such agreement would involve an ongoing U.S. troop presence.

Although Biden said that U.S. forces had made progress against militant insurgents, he insisted that for these advances to hold, Afghanistan needed to take responsibility for its own security and Pakistan should do more to stop the Taliban. (ANI)

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