Biden: U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if asked

January 11th, 2011 - 9:58 pm ICT by BNO News  

KABUL (BNO NEWS) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan beyond the 2014 deadline if Afghans want them and need them.

According to Obama’s administration, U.S. troops are scheduled to begin drawing down in July 2011 with the full withdrawal ending in 2014 when Afghan forces assume the security lead.

“We are not leaving if you don’t want us to leave,” Biden said after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Biden added during his unannounced visit that to maintain the control gained over the Taliban requires “strong Afghan security forces” and an increased effort from Pakistan to eradicate terrorist presence along the border.

The United States, according to Biden, is not planning to “govern or to nation-build” since the Afghan people are capable of it, as President Karzai has pointed out. 

Biden arrived at Kabul International Airport on Monday night for his first trip to Afghanistan as vice president. He also visited the Kabul Military Training Center on Tuesday where Afghan National Army troops are trained.

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