Silver Lining

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Oslon: US not to leave Afghanistan

Al Manar

The US Ambassador in Islamabad Richard Olson said Wednesday that the United States will not leave Afghanistan and will not repeat the mistake of late 80s.

During a conference speech on the situation in Afghanistan post-2014 at the National University of Modern Languages, Oslon stated that “the United States is not leaving Afghanistan. The terms of engagement might change, but the commitment will not.”

The former Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 after a 10-year invasion of the Muslim nation. The US invaded Afghanistan in late 2001 after the New York and Washington attacks were blamed on al-Qaeda.

“I must unequivocally dispel what I fear is a widespread, but wildly incorrect analogy: 2014 is not 1989. We recognize the mistakes of the past. The United States will not disengage from the region,” added Ambassador Olson.

He also said that “as the US mission changes and the Afghan forces grow in capability and experience, the international troops will continue to train, advise, assist the Afghans, and fight alongside them when needed.”

“In that capacity, we will no longer be leading the combat operations, but instead we would shift to a supporting role as the Afghans have demonstrated their increasing capability to lead the combat operations across their country”.

Moreover, Ambassador Olson noted that “the international community’s financial and political commitment, as well as the nearly $20 billion in pledges for security and development assistance that have already been made through 2024, stand out as a defining difference between the year 2014 and 1989. The United States, and the nations across the globe, have unambiguously committed to Afghanistan’s future.”

“As President Obama and President Karzai agreed in Washington, the Afghan-led peace and reconciliation is the surest way to end violence and ensure the lasting stability of Afghanistan and the region,” Ambassador Olson recalled.

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