Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid at NATO HQ in Brussels on Friday said that NATO members have not made a decision about reducing troops in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week Gen. Scott Miller, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that over the past year the number of US troops had decreased by 2,000, which Miller called “optimizing” the force.
NBC, citing three current and former US defense officials, recently reported that the United States was drawing up plans for an abrupt withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, although there is currently no White House directive to do so.
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday told reporters that despite “the ups and downs” of troop numbers, NATO was committed to its Afghan mission.
Acting Minister Khalid, in an interview with TOLOnews at the NATO meeting in Brussels, mentioned that Afghan security forces were praised by NATO allies for their role in mitigating violence during the presidential polling on September 28.
Also, Khalid spoke of the ongoing clearing operations in Baghlan:
“The Baghlan operation will continue until the province is fully cleared of Taliban, and we will continue to other provinces until we reach peace, or we fully eliminate our enemies,” said Khalid.
Khalid also said that Afghan security force clearing operations will continue until there is a peace settlement or the insurgents have been completely suppressed.