Thursday, December 8, 2011

Report: Allen backs pause in withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2013

The top military commander in Afghanistan is privately recommending that once the planned U.S. troop reductions for 2012 are completed there should be a pause for 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday citing anonymous sources.

The newspaper reported that Marine Gen. John Allen and other NATO officers are concerned that continued reductions in 2013 would make it harder to clear and hold insurgent havens.

Allen, who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has shared his thinking with visiting congressional officials and delegations, the paper said.

Allen’s position reflects the findings of an internal assessment by NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, which warned that reducing U.S. troop levels below 68,000 would complicate efforts to protect supply lines and bases ahead of the scheduled security handover in 2014, WSJ reported.