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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid