Some US and allied forces in Afghanistan could possibly withdraw sooner than the expected date of the end of 2014, according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
“From now until the end of 2014 we will see announcements of redeployments, withdrawals or drawdown,” Rasmussen told the Guardian in an interview. “If the security situation allows, I would not exclude the possibility that in certain areas you could accelerate the process.”
He went on to say that options for early withdrawal were being discussed and should be clear one way or the other within three months.
The NATO official’s comments come at a time when virtually the entire US political establishment recognizes that the war in Afghanistan is a complete and total failure. Both the Obama administration and the Romney campaign agree that US troops should be withdrawn in 2014.
A military report of the mission in Afghanistan released last month documented the continued resilience of the insurgency in number of attacks on US and NATO troops. The Taliban are as strong as ever, the regime in Kabul is weak and cannot provide security, and overall violence has not subsided.
Rasmussen also noted the effectiveness of the newest Taliban strategy of infiltrating US-trained Afghan security forces, and repeatedly attacking occupation forces. The number of so-called “insider attacks” has risen considerably over the past few months, with more than 50 NATO troops having died so far this year.
“There’s no doubt insider attacks have undermined trust and confidence, absolutely,” he said. The top US general in Afghanistan, General John Allen, told CBS’s 60 Minutes this week he was “mad as hell” about the tactic, and about the sanctuary that such insurgent elements are provided over the border in Pakistan.
But the Afghan security forces turning their guns on their US counterparts are not all Taliban. Many of them are ordinary Afghans pissed off about the ongoing occupation of their country and aggrieved at the foreign soldiers helping to tear apart Afghanistan for the past decade.
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