News / USA

US Officials Confident on 2014 Date to End Combat in Afghanistan

Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (File)
Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (File)

U.S. officials are expressing confidence that a 2014 date for ending international combat operations in Afghanistan will be met, with Afghan security forces assuming a lead role in defending their nation by then. 

NATO leaders emerged from a two-day summit in Portugal with a common commitment that U.S. and other allied forces will have moved into a support role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Appearing on ABC's This Week program, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, expressed cautious optimism about the timetable.

"That is very much a reachable goal. There is a lot to do between now and then. Clearly, it is a very dangerous place, and a very tough fight we are in right now," said Mullen. "But that is a goal [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai set out there, and that all NATO allies and all countries that provide forces have signed up to [achieve], and we think it is reachable."

Admiral Mullen compared the Afghan security transition to one undertaken in another strife-torn nation.

"I would describe it much like what we just went through in Iraq, where they have the lead for their own security. We are then in some capacity in a training, advising and assist mode, which we would expect to be for some time," he said.

About 150,000 international forces are currently deployed in Afghanistan, more than half of them are from the United States. Some nations, like Canada, have already announced an end to a combat role before the 2014 date. The transition to a lead role for Afghan forces is expected to begin next year.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the NATO declaration on Afghanistan as a vindication of President Barack Obama's strategy for the country.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (File)
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (File)

"We now have all the components of the strategy, which President Obama directed a year ago," she said. "And, we believe it is working. What was particularly reassuring were the expressions of support from the NATO-ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] partner countries, recognizing that we are also making progress on the ground."

Secretary Clinton added, however, that U.S. and other forces must continually strive to minimize civilian casualties, while aggressively pursuing Taliban insurgents. For months, President Karzai has complained of foreign troops inflicting a heavy death toll on Afghan non-combatants. U.S. military officials assert that, for every Afghan civilian who perishes as a result of NATO combat operations, the Taliban kill roughly nine others.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More