‘Afghanistan needs US help post-2014’

The United States says Afghanistan will need Washingtonâ„¢s long-term military support beyond the 2014 withdrawal deadline for foreign soldiers in the war-torn country.

The Pentagon told Congress in its biannual Å“Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan” report that Afghans will need considerable training and foreign aid beyond 2014 in order to fight the Taliban militants.

Å“Assessing whether the gains to date will be sustainable will be difficult to do until the exact size and structure of the post-2014 US and NATO presence is determined,” the Pentagon said in its report on Tuesday.

Å“Effective government, the rule of law and sustainable economic development are all necessary for long-term stability in Afghanistan, but multiple factors continue to hinder them, including widespread corruption,” the report said.

The Pentagon report added that although fewer areas are controlled by the Taliban, the militants are still influential in a number of key rural regions of Afghanistan.

The Pentagonâ„¢s top Afghan policy official, Peter Lavoy, also said that a number of post-2014 options are being considered.

Å“In none of these cases have we developed an option that is zero,” the US official said in reference to post-2014 US plans for a military presence in Afghanistan.

Washington and Kabul have been locked in negotiations over a strategic partnership agreement, which aims to pave the way for US forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.

Last month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai suspended the talks with Washington over the pact after it was revealed that the US had held direct negotiations with Taliban militants.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washingtonâ„¢s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains high in the country despite the presence of many US-led foreign troopers.

SZH/PR/HJL

Republished from: Press TV