Thursday, 3 May 2012

Obama Pledges Cooperation in Afghanistan, Vows to “Finish The Job”

President Barrack Obama at the tail end of his surprise visit to Afghanistan early Wednesday in his speech discussed how he wish to end the war and a roadmap to a steady drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

In sticking to the set 2014 deadline of pulling 23,000 U.S. troop from the country by the end of the summer and handing over security fully to Afghan government. In his speech, he also added that NATO will before the end of the month set goal for Afghan forces to lead combat operation next year.

President Obama said that American soldiers will not build permanent bases in Afghanistan nor will they be patrolling the cities or mountains of Afghanistan. Those jobs will the job of the Afghan soldiers after the total drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan.

Obama surprised visit which coincided with the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. led raid in neighbouring Pakistan, is his third visit to Afghanistan since assumption of office.

Obama promised that America must finish the war they started in Afghanistan and end the war in a responsible way but will not keep troops in harm’s way a single day longer than absolutely required for national security.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Obama had earlier in the visit signed agreement showing corporation between their countries once the U.S.-led international force withdraws in 2014.

In the agreement, some non-combatant U.S. forces will remain in the post-war Afghanistan as military advisers. But this has raised a question from both U.S. and Afghanistan officials as to how many troops will remain to support Afghan military and hoe long their support will be needed.

Obama at the signing ceremony for the Strategic Partnership Agreement said that neither country if they had an option would ask for the war that began more than a decade ago. But this is the time to partner with each other to ensure a peaceful future. As he had always said, Obama stated that there will be difficult days ahead of the Afghan people as they move towards the transition but believed that Afghan forces will grow stronger and will take control of their future.

In a bit to address the general worries in Afghanistan that the United States will leave the country to its fate once the troops drawdown completes, Obama said that with the signed agreement, Afghan people will be confident that the United States will stand by them.

In addition, Obama said that the United States mission in Afghanistan should be clearly understood. United State did not come to Afghanistan to claim resources or to claim territory. They came on a clear mission which was to destroy al Qaeda, a terrorist organization responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on United States of America.

Karzai and Obama shool hands after the signing of the document in the atrium of the King’s Residence, part of the Presidential Palace in Kabul where the agreement was signed. Karzai thanked American people for helping Afghanistan.

The Afghan president said that the agreement will put an end to a chapter that started 10 years ago and is going to open a new chapter of an equal relationship between two sovereign and independent countries that will be based on mutual respect, commitments and friendship.

Obama at Bagram Air Base in a meeting with Afghan people and U.S. troops he met there in an emotional tone said that there are very difficult days ahead as the mission winds down for they will see could see their friends and relative hurt or even killed. According to him, there will be heartbreaks and pains and difficulty ahead, but there is a light in the horizon because of the sacrifices that they had made.

The secretive nature of Obama landing in Afghanistan in the cover of darkness, and the signing ceremony taking place in the late evening, had made some international analysts to believe that there are evident security risks in Afghanistan.

The Strategic Partnership Agreement is important because it provides a framework for the U.S.-Afghanistan partnership for the after the U.S. and allied troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to the senior administration officials report on the flight.

Noting the signing ceremony coincidences with the anniversary of the bin Laden raid, the officials called it a day of remembrance for the Afghan and the American people.

According to the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force, more than 130,000 troops from 50 countries with The United States being the biggest contributor served in Afghanistan. In a breakdown, The United States provided about 90,000 troops, United Kingdom 9,500, Germany 4,800 and France 3,600.

The war which began in 2001 on the wake of the terrorist attacks on The United States has become increasingly unpopular in the United States. According to the CNN/ORC International pool in late March, 25% of the respondents supported it while 72% opposed it.

More than 2,700 troops have died in the war with majority of them American as a result of the 10-year war.

In 2011, the United States expresses its plans to drawdown its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, a step which was followed by most of the NATO nations.

Following this move, Afghan National Adviser Rangin Daftar Spanta and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker initiated a kind of relationship between Afghanistan and The United States of America in the decade following 2014 after the total drawdown of NATO-led troops from Afghanistan.

The deal is a welcome one by Washington and Kabul after compromise after the non-very-rosy relationship due to issues of “night raids” by U.S. forces on Afghan homes and the transfer of U.S. detainees to Afghan custody. The deal was anticipated to create an enduring relationship between the two countries for fear of the Taliban waiting for U.S. troop’s withdrawal to regain power.

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