The White House on Thursday said President Barack Obama’s decision to maintain 8,400 troops in Afghanistan amounted to further assistance to Afghan security forces in its fight against terrorism.
The White House press secretary Josh Earnest emphasized the decision did not mean the return of U.S. troops to combat.
“The president’s announcement today meant that the current US troop level of 8, 400 will be retained into next year. That represents a substantial commitment on the part of the United States to the future of Afghanistan,” he said.
“It is also the validation of the approach that is focused on training, advising and occasionally assisting Afghan security forces so that they can fight for their country,” he added.
Afghan government welcomed the U.S decision on troop level in Afghanistan, saying the role of the United States troops as a reliable partner in the field of fighting against terrorism and also the technical and security cooperation with Afghanistan’s security forces, is important.
“The Afghan government welcomes Washington’s decision to maintain 8,400 troops in Afghanistan,” said President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansori.
Afghan observers say they believe that the increasing threat in Afghanistan has drawn the attention of the international community. They added that the Afghan government should make better use of the opportunity presented by the Obama-decision.
“Ensuring the security of Afghanistan is important, the U.S. and its allies have a vital role in this regard. The Americans know their long-term plan in defeating international terrorism will succeed only if their efforts were successful in Afghanistan. If they did not succeed in Afghanistan, the outcome will be reversed,” said Asif Ashna, an analyst in political affairs.
“The decision by the United States reveals that Afghanistan is once again receiving the attention of the international community, particularly U.S. Unfortunately, we don’t not have an inclusive plan to benefit from presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. This time the government should use this opportunity in the best possible way,” added Ali Akbar Jamshedi, a political commentator.
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