World News

US Considers Options for Troops in Afghanistan

It is reported that U.S. military leaders have proposed two options for Afghanistan after 2014 - leave 10,000 American troops there when the combat mission is over, or pull all of them out.

Several news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, report that General Joseph Dunford, the commander of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, presented the option to the White House last week.



Haji Saleh Muhammed Saleh sits on the defense committee in Afghanistan's Lower House. He tells VOA Afghan Service's Ashna TV that if a complete pullout is seriously considered, then the U.S. should help strengthen Afghan security forces.

)
"It (the plan) should include extensive civilian aid programs and to back the Afghan government. The amount of assistance should be increased so that Afghanistan can stand on its feet."




Some reports also say that if 10,000 troops are left after 2014, they should all be withdrawn by early 2017, when President Barack Obama leaves office.

The Afghan government has not yet signed a Bilateral Security Agreement that would determine the number of American troops to stay in Afghanistan by the end of this year.



The Obama administration says if the agreement is not signed soon, the U.S. may have to pull out its troops because there won't be time to plan for a continued presence.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the winner of that country's presidential election in April should sign the agreement.

Feature Story

An aerial view shows a thinned crowd of pro-democracy student protesters continuing to occupy the streets around the government complex in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Chinese President's Risky Options for Dealing with Hong Kong Protests

So far, Beijing has refused to back down on its August 31 ruling that Hong Kong can hold its first direct election for its leader only if all candidates are strictly vetted by a nominating committee More

Special Reports