MOSCOW, January 5 (Sputnik) – The existing timetable of the US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan should be reexamined, Ashraf Ghani, the country’s president, told CBS.
"Deadlines concentrate the mind. But deadlines should not be dogmas," Ashraf Ghani told CBS' 60 Minutes. "If both parties, or, in this case, multiple partners, have done their best to achieve the objectives and progress is very real, then there should be willingness to re-examine a deadline," he added.
The White House, the US State Department, or the Pentagon have not commented on Ghani’s remarks, according to Fox News.
On January 1, 2015, the Resolute Support mission replaced the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US to tackle insurgency in Afghanistan. Approximately 13,500 NATO soldiers, mostly from the US, will remain in the country to train and mentor Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The US mission in Afghanistan is scheduled to be over in December 2016. However, the Afghan forces, numbering almost 350,000 people, have been responsible for the country’s security since the summer of 2013.
Pres Ghani: "From now on, we must take the responsibility of securing Afghanistan" @ResoluteSupport will train/advise the ANSF to prevail— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) 1 января 2015
Ghani also has a strong message to those, who threaten Afghanistan’s security. "Do not ever threaten an Afghan with violence. We will rise as one and we will face every threat the way we have taken on thousands of previous armies and conquerors," Ghani told CBS.
The change of the mission from ISAF to Resolute Support comes amid fears of growing insurgency in the country. A record number of civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 by the end of November, according to the UN. In the same timeframe, Afghan security forces lost over 4,600 people, as reported by AFP.