The forces of the U.S. and its allies will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The Obama Administration has made relevant statement more than once. However, it has long been no secret that a certain number of American troops will stay in Afghanistan after the completion of “Operation Enduring Freedom”. The only secret was the size of this consignment. Head of the Pentagon Leon Panetta promised to answer this question shortly. He kept his word. The American command has said that 10,000 U.S. troops would stay in Afghanistan. Commenting on the situation, expert at the Political Research Centre Vadim Kozyulin has this to say.
“Some said this figure would be 30.000. Experts believed that this would be the number of servicemen needed to maintain their positions, repulse an aggression and fulfill those functions they have outlined there. I believe that this is a very small figure. In this case, we have to take into account the fact that the U.S. is experiencing now serious financial difficulties. Military budget is being sharply cut. The U.S. is planning to cut its military expenses by about 30 percent. Most likely, the above figure is linked to this situation,” Vadim Kozyulin said.
The American troops, who will stay in Afghanistan, will fulfill several tasks. For one, they will train Afghan soldiers and teach them how to control UAVs that are actively used in Afghanistan. Another important mission of the U.S. troops will be carrying out the targeted special operations. However, they will also fulfill other tasks that have nothing to do with Afghanistan, says invited researcher at the NATO College in Rome Oleg Kulakov.
“It’s no secret that when the U.S. and NATO troops were deployed in Afghanistan, the U.S. set the task of monitoring the territories of Iran and Pakistan. Originally, its desire was to go into Central Asia. It seems that they have no desire to give up this idea,” Oleg Kulakov said.
In the spring, the Presidents of America and Afghanistan signed an agreement on long-term strategic cooperation. Under the agreement, Americans enjoy the right to use several military bases in Afghanistan. In response, Washington promised Kabul to sponsor its Defence Ministry and finance civil projects. Moreover, at present, the two sides are discussing an agreement on security issues. One of the conditions set by President Hamid Karzai for signing it is that American forces come under the jurisdiction of Afghan courts.