Obama and Cameron to discuss Afghanistan’s future
US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron are to agree on an end to the US’ and UK’s “lead combat role” in Afghanistan by mid-2013. The two leaders came together for a three-day meeting, which comes amid growing debate about the international military presence in Afghanistan following the killing of 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday by a US soldier. The model for an earlier end of the leading role would imply a continued support and training role for US and UK forces. All troops of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission are to be withdrawn by the end of 2014. NATO representatives repeatedly warned that it would be wrong for a change in military tactics to be accompanied by an accelerated withdrawal.
In a joint article for the Washington Post, Obama and Cameron wrote: “As the two largest contributors to the international mission in Afghanistan, we’re proud of the progress our troops have made in dismantling al-Qaeda, breaking the Taliban’s momentum and training Afghan forces. But as recent events underscore, this remains a difficult mission. We honour the profound sacrifices of our forces, and in their name we’ll carry on the mission.”
Would the end of the US and UK “lead combat role” in mid-2013 come too early to hand over governance to the Afghan authorities? Make your voice heard on the international community’s role in Afghanistan in the Security Jam 2012 from 19 to 23 March! Register today and make sure your views are brought to the attention of world leaders at the NATO summit in May!