The US and allied troops’ commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, believes that keeping 5,500 troops in Afghanistan will constrain the train and advise mission.
Discussions over the number of US troops in Afghanistan after 2016 led to a verbal dispute between Campbell and Senator John McCain, the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services.
McCain is against the decrease in the number of troops in Afghanistan.
“Will they [US troops] be able to do both the missions [training mission and counterterrorism mission] adequately with 5,500 troops,” asked McCain.
Campbell said: “5,500 [troops], I believe that they can do CT mission, the counter terrorism mission, and a very limited train, advise and assist mission.”
He added that much will depend upon how quickly the Afghan forces continue to improve.
The US senate also approved President Barack Obama’s pick of Lt. Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson to lead US and allied troops in Afghanistan.
Nicholson will replace Campbell in March this year.
A number of Afghan political experts believe that disputes over the number of US troops in Afghanistan will derail the fight against terrorism.
Mirdad Khan Nejrabi, the Chairman of the Internal Security Commission of Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament), said that a decrease in the number US troops in Afghanistan will the raise morale of militants. He added that Afghan security forces are in need of the foreign troops’ support.
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