US troops to stay even after complete transition
04 September, 2012
WASHINGTON: The White House on Sunday asserted that American troops would remain in Afghanistan even after complete security transition in 2014.
"We have been abundantly clear about the stages of the implementation of that policy. And as in Iraq, that means that while not all US troops will have withdrawn necessarily by then, the Afghan Security Forces will be in full security transition -- I mean, will be in full security lead, and US forces will continue to be drawn down," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said.
Carney said it was a NATO-endorsed strategy that foresaw full transition to Afghan security lead in Afghanistan by 2014. "That is a NATO policy that has been put in place for quite some time now. And part of that is drawing down our forces, which, as you know, is happening as we speak," he said.
Responding to questions, Carney said Obama had never said that all the troops would be out. "What we've said, as we did in Iraq, there were sort of milestones where troops began to come home, more and more authorities transferred over to Iraqi security forces," he said.
"The US forces that remained as that process took place moved out of the cities and on to bases. And then the full transfer took place and combat mission ended, after which remaining US forces eventually came home and the last US soldier left, with the exception obviously of those who are at the embassy," he said.