US and NATO forces want to end Afghan mission

Kali Dingman

The United States and NATO are looking to end the combat mission in Afghanistan next year and plan to instead provide training to the Afghan security forces, the Washington Post reports.

&undefined;Hopefully by mid to the latter part of &undefined;0”3 we&undefined;ll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advise and assist role,&undefined; Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told the Washington Post.

US military forces said they want to let the police take greater responsibility for fighting the insurgency.

US and NATO forces would continue to stay in Afghanistan until the latter part of &undefined;0”4, but US troops would remain in Afghanistan to continue with counterterrorism missions and aid the Afghan security forces for an indefinite period.

In the mean time, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced he would speed up the withdrawal of French troops. US officials said there are no other indications from other NATO allies that they would be withdrawing troops early.

NATO has been reconsidering if it can continue to fund the large Afghan force, but the U.S. and NATO may ask Arab allies, Japan, Korea and other countries to help subsidize the Afghan army and police. &undefined;