Military accord vital for Afghan confidence: US

December 06, 2013 - 6:10:07 am
WASHINGTON: Delaying the signing of a US-Afghan security pact poses more of a psychological than logistical problem because it jeopardizes Afghan troop “confidence,” the US military’s top officer said Wednesday.

US and Nato officials have been pressing Kabul to sign the agreement without further delay or else risk a complete withdrawal of Western troops after 2014 and drastically reduced international aid.

The United States likely has until the “early summer” before a delay would start to constrict possible military “options” in Afghanistan, said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“So that’s not the limiting factor,” he told reporters when asked about the accord. 

But he said dozens of countries contributing troops to the Nato-led mission needed the pact signed to be able to make plans and that Afghan security forces would be “anxious” with the future presence of Western troops in question.

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