Former U.S commander in Gen. John Allen suggest that the military may need to keep additonal troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Gen. John Allen co-authored a report by an American think-tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which also insists for the retention of “bridging force” in Afghanistan by United States after 2014 in a bid to help support the Afghans.
Allen’s recommendation for “bridging force” is in addition to any long-term U.S. military presence and appears to run counter to the Obama administration’s stated policy.
United States will withdraw majority of its combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and only a small enduring force will likely remain in Afghanistan to help train Afghan army and carry out counter-terrorism operations if the two nations agree to sign a bilteral security agreement.
The report published by Center for A New American Security in Washington said, “For two to three years after 2014, the United States may need an additional force package of several thousand personnel to help the Afghans finish building their air force, their special operations force and certain other enablers in the medical realm, in counter-IED capability and in intelligence collection.”
Currently there are 66,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan which would be reduced by half in February 2014 and will be furthered reduced by the end of 2014.
A bridging force has never been publicly discussed by Obama or top Pentagon officials, however, Allen says he suggested a force of about 13,600 troops in his formal recommendation to the White House before he retired.
He also said the “bridging force” was not included in his formal recommendations to the White House because “we didn’t develop it enough.”