Withdrawing US, NATO Troops From Afghanistan Risks '9/11' Recurrence - Pentagon

Members of the Taliban

"Were we not to put the pressure on Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State) and other groups in the region we are putting on today, it is our assessment that, in a period of time their capability would reconstitute, and they have today the intent, and in the future, they would have the capability to do what we saw on 9/11", Dunford said when asked about a potential withdrawal of the USA military contingent from the war-ravaged country.

Speaking at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, McKenzie also said that the United States and its allies need to keep helping the Afghans recruit and train forces to battle the Taliban's estimated 60,000 fighters. Our border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has the greatest amount of surveillance.

"In the letter, the President recognises that Pakistan has the ability to deny the Taliban sanctuary on its territory", the spokesperson said.

The renewed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation commitment came in a week when the Marine officer nominated to command USA forces in the Middle East warned that the fight there is at a stalemate and the number of Afghan troop deaths in the war is not sustainable.

He said the United States has sought Pakistan's support in advancing the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

On question of future of Pak-US ties, the prime minister noted: "I would never want to have a relationship where Pakistan is treated like a hired gun - given money to fight someone else's war".

It's a trade relationship between two countries.

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"We continue to see the Taliban being utilised as a hedge against India rather than as part of a stable, reconciled Afghanistan", McKenzie said.

"Taking concrete steps that deny VEO safe havens in Pakistan, as well as VEO freedom of movement from Pakistan to Afghanistan, remains an important task that Pakistan needs to fulfil. This is in our own interest", said Stoltenberg. The Taliban, he reminded the lawmaker, still had around 60,000 in Afghanistan, compared to a US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation force of about 16,000.

The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, insisted that the Afghans are doing more, running regional training centers and teaching their own special forces.

It is in Pakistan's long-term interest to have a government in Afghanistan that is stable, and that that they can do business with, he said. "I was glad that i met Zalmay Khalilzad", he said. It will be hard to reach a settlement without some form of assistance or Pakistan.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation took the lead on worldwide security efforts in Afghanistan in 2003, wound down combat operations in 2014, and is now mainly training and advising Afghan forces so that they can handle the country's security needs. "They said that we have time and time again asked the Americans, 'Can you tell us where the sanctuaries are, and we will go after them?' There are no sanctuaries in Pakistan".

He said during a summit last July, NATO made a decision to strengthen its support to Afghanistan with more troops to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces so they can create the conditions for peace and reconciliation. I think it's a conditions-based approach we're going to go through this winter.

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