Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The U.S. military is disputing media reports that it
plans to give Pakistan excess American military equipment that is currently in
“Our commitment to the Afghan people and the Afghan National Security Forces is
unwavering,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in
Afghanistan, said in a statement Thursday.
The Washington Post first reported in a March 16 web story that the U.S. military
was considering giving the Pakistanis $7 billion worth of equipment amid the
drawdown in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military has expressed interest in getting
Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, which have been proven to be too big and
heavy to operate effectively in Afghanistan, which lacks road infrastructure.
But U.S. Forces-Afghanistan issued a statement on Thursday calling media reports
that it was considering sending military equipment to Pakistan “inaccurate.”
“USFOR-A does not provide or intend to provide any such equipment, including
MRAPs, from Afghanistan to Pakistan,” the statement says.
The story caused more strain on the U.S. military’s relationship with Afghan President
Hamid Karzai, whose spokesman said Afghanistan would oppose any move to give
excess MRAPs to Pakistan.
“Afghan security forces need this type of equipment and as a strategic partner, the
U.S. needs to consult with Afghanistan before making such a decision,” Emal Faizi told
Voice of America for a March 18 story.
Source: U.S. Forces-Afghanistan
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The White House says President Barack Obama has
ordered the Pentagon to prepare plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by
the end of this year.
A White House statement said Obama ordered the move because Afghanistan’s
President Hamid Karzai has indicated he is unlikely to sign a Bilateral Security
Agreement that would allow the United States to keep troops in Afghanistan after
The statement added that should the Afghan government sign the accord, the United
States remained ready to keep a “limited” force in Afghanistan after 2014 to focus on
training Afghan forces and conducting antiterrorism missions.
The statement said Obama had spoken with Karzai on February 25 by telephone.
Karzai, who is due to leave office after Afghanistan’s April elections, has sought
several concessions from Washington over the security pact.
In other news, Afghan officials say at least eight people are dead and dozens of
others are injured following a suicide bomb attack in the southern province of
Oruzgan. Officials said the explosion took place on February 25 in the provincial
capital, Tirin Kot.
Reports say civilians were among the victims. It wasn’t immediately clear who was
responsible for the blast.
Elsewhere, officials said three people were killed and three others injured in a bomb
blast in the Marjah district of the southern province of Helmand. It was not
immediately apparent who was behind the attack.
Source: Radio Free Europe