Kabul Supports U.S. Call for More Foreign Troops in Afghanistan

U.S. soldiers from 5-20 infantry Regiment attached to 82nd Airborne walk while on patrol in Zharay district in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan April 24, 2012. REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

The Kabul government has expressed support for the United States’ call for more foreign troops in Afghanistan as security conditions continue to deteriorate in the war-devastated country, primarily at the hands of the Taliban.

Last month, American Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said the coalition needs a “few thousand” more troops to help with training and advising the Afghan troops.

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani said on Sunday that additional troops would help Afghanistan combat the serious security threat posed by the activities of terrorist groups in the country, report Pakistani and Turkish news outlets.

Rabbani left for the U.S. Sunday to participate in a Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh [Islamic State].

The most potent terror organization in the country remains the Taliban, which continues to wreak havoc more than 15 years after U.S. troops entered the country to defeat them and their ally al-Qaeda. Both groups remain active.

Gen. Nicholson noted late last year that the Afghanistan-Pakistan region is home to the largest concentration of U.S. and United Nations-designated terrorist groups — seven in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan.

Currently, there are an estimated 13,300 foreign troops in Afghanistan, including about 8,400 Americans.

Despite the ongoing threat posed by the Taliban, U.S. troops reportedly lost their ability to offensively target the terrorist group when former President Barack Obama ended the combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

Since then, the American troops have only been able to shoot at the Taliban when they attack first or when the Afghan forces request it.

There was a steady withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan under Obama, who failed to keep his promise to end the war in the country.

Terrorists, mainly the Taliban, have killed at least 2,247 U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the war started in October 2001 and wounded another 20,203.

The majority of casualties during the conflict took place under Obama’s watch.

Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani’s comments endorsing the U.S. call for more foreign troops in Afghanistan come a day after the U.N. Security Council extended the intergovernmental organization’s mission in Afghanistan for another year.

The U.N. acknowledged the ongoing threat posed by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and their alleged mutual rival the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) wing in the country, known as the Khorasan Province (IS-KP/ISIL-K).

Before he left to the U.S. Sunday, the Afghan foreign minister noted that Kabul needs international assistance to push ISIS out of Afghanistan.

The U.S. military has identified the ISIS stronghold in the region as Afghanistan’s opium-rich Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan is considered a terrorist sanctuary by the U.S. and Afghanistan.


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