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Afghan security to worsen by 2017: US report !!!

30 December 2013 8:40

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A new US intelligence assessment has warned of the likely resurgence of Taliban militants and quick loss of gains in Afghanistan by 2017, even if some American troops remain in the Asian country beyond 2014.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), which includes input from 16 intelligence agencies of the US, predicted that the Taliban would become more influential as the American military draws down its troops in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported citing officials familiar with the estimate.

The report added that Afghanistan might fall into chaos if Kabul refuses to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that allows the US forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond the planned 2014 pullout.

“In the absence of a continuing presence and continuing financial support,” the intelligence assessment “suggests the situation would deteriorate very rapidly,” said an unnamed US official familiar with the estimate, according to the daily.

However, some officials have argued that the report fails to adequately show how powerful Afghanistan’s security forces have become.

“I think what we’re going to see is a recalibration of political power, territory and that kind of thing,” the newspaper quoted a US official, who regarded the assessment as unjustly negative, as saying. “It’s not going to be an inevitable rise of the Taliban.”

“An assessment that says things are going to be gloomy no matter what you do, that you’re just delaying the inevitable, that’s just a view,” said a top administration official, adding, “I would not think it would be the determining view.”

The assessment comes amid Washington’s pressure on Kabul to sign the controversial security deal. However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that he would not be intimidated by the US or pressured into signing the deal and that the matter should be left to the next government after the April elections in Afghanistan.

He has also stated that Kabul could not approve an agreement without guarantees that the United States would halt its deadly airstrikes on residential areas of Afghanistan and help broker a peace process with the Taliban.

The US airstrikes have been a major source of tension between Afghanistan and the United States.

The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still gripped by insecurity.

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