Discussions continue between the United States and Afghanistan to hammer out a bilateral security agreement, including U.S. military presence in the country, ahead of the White House’s planned 2014 Afghan drawdown, the American Forces Press Service reported Tuesday.
Jim Garamone writes that Defense Press Secretary George Little assured the talks were ongoing and that the Obama administration is open to work out the issues, noting that points of contention were inevitable.
Any American forces that would stay post-2014 would mainly focus on targeting Taliban elements and training local troops, Little added.
“We’re committed to peace and reconciliation in the country,” Little was quoted as saying.
“And we remain prepared to negotiate with our Afghan partners to conclude the BSA, one that supports our shared objectives.”
Little confirmed reports that a full military pullout is possible, but said this as well other options are all under discussion even as he noted the progress Afghan forces have shown in leading the security effort.
“They are making great sacrifices on behalf of their own country,” Little said, adding, “They have demonstrated great resolve to take the fight to the enemy, and we’re impressed by what we’ve seen.”