Nineteen years after the 9/11 attacks and on the eve of the intra-Afghan negotiations, Acting Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid said the Afghan National Army can shoulder the counter-terrorism mission and can defend the country without international support.
According to Khalid, over 96 percent of military operations are conducted by Afghan forces.
“The Afghan forces, the Afghan National Army, are fully capable of defending the country,” Khalid said.
Military analysts said they remain concerned about a resurgence of terrorists after the full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. The analysts said there is a need for continued international support to Afghan forces.
“The situation will move towards a wrong path in absence of peace and in absence of an agreement between the Taliban and the government and if US forces do not leave the country responsibly,” said Assadullah Nadim, a military analyst.
“Afghan society is tired of war. We need international support to end the war in the country,” said Basir Yusufi, an international affairs analyst.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump said that the United States will reduce the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 4,000 “in a very short period of time.”
“A lot of progress is being made in Afghanistan. But we’ll be down to 4,000 soldiers in a very short period of time,” Trump said.