U.S. vows commitment to Afghan strategy

February 28, 2012 11:30 am 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 — U.S. officials on Monday vowed its commitment to the Afghan strategy of President Barack Obama despite recent protests and attacks in that country prompted by the burning of a religious material by U.S. soldiers.

Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, told reporters during his regular press briefing that Obama's strategy to slowly withdraw troops while transferring security lead to Afghan forces "very much remains the right one and remains in place, and one that we will continue to implement."

Noting the defeat of al-Qaeda "remains absolutely a national security priority," Carney said recent upheavals related to the burning of religious material in Afghanistan will not affect the pace of the drawdown, which means pulling out the last combat troops by end of 2014, and transferring full security lead to the Afghans.

The statement was echoed by the Defense Department. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are fully committed to continuing operations aimed at turning over security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.

Panetta and Dempsey "believe we have achieved significant progress in reversing the Taliban's momentum and in developing the Afghan security forces, and they believe that the fundamentals of our strategy remain sound," Little said in a Pentagon news conference

Afghans rioted following the revelation that U.S. forces " inadvertently" burned Islamic religious materials. Four Americans have been killed, including two officers serving as advisors in the Afghan interior ministry in Kabul.(PNA/Xinhua)



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