Boehner in a CNN editorial said that the Obama administration must reach a bilateral security agreement with the Afghan government that reinforces the commitment by United Stats to the Afghan people and its security forces.
Accompanied by a delegation of US lawmakers, Boehner visited Afghanistan last month to underscore call for U.S. forces to remain in the country beyond 2014 and review the April 5 elections.
The delegation sent a strong, unequivocal message that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan to successfully complete the work that has been done to date, and to honor the sacrifice of thousands of troops and civilians, as well as their families, Boehner’s office following a statement said.
Boehner said there has been significant progress in Afghanistan but the country will continue to have setbacks.
“Violence, like the recent tragic shooting at a Kabul hospital, is going to continue. Terrorist organizations will continue to attempt high-profile attacks to break our resolve,” he said.
He also added, “With input from our commanders on the ground, this will likely require retaining a credible, residual troop presence to help continue to thwart terrorist networks as well as provide appropriate levels of training and advice to the Afghan security forces as they continue to grow and mature into an effective, independent fighting force.”
The Obama administration has not announced the exact number of US troops to remain in Afghanistna beyond 2014. However, reports suggest Washington is considering leave about 8,000 troops to train Afghan forces and for a counter-terrorism mission once the bilateral security agreement between Kabul and Washington is signed.
President Hamid Karzai has so far declined to sign the security deal with Washington which would give a legal framework for the presence of US troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
However, the frontrunners in Afghan presidential election have vowed that they would sign the bilateral agreement once they are elected as next Afghan president.