United States Committed to Afghanistan Beyond 2014

Obama Administration officials pledged a continued security partnership with Afghanistan beyond the US military drawdown in 2014 in a draft agreement with the Afghan government. “We’ve committed to an enduring presence and this agreement makes clear that we will have that presence there beyond 2014,” stated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, announcing the tentative agreement on April 23. The size of the US military footprint is still under negotiation but “the United States is committed to an enduring presence in Afghanistan that will be there to help Afghanistan to become a country that can securely govern itself,” he stressed. Congress must now review and advise on the draft document before it passes to the President for signing. “Once these internal processes are complete, we expect to be in a position to sign the agreement” hopefully ahead of next month’s NATO summit in Chicago, stated the White House. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)