By Shaynah Ferreira
Afghanistan and U.S officials signed the long-delayed security agreement to allow American soldiers to stay in the country after the end of this year. This was made possible through a campaign promise from Afghanistan’s newest President, Ashraf Ghani.
The agreement was signed by national security advisor Hanif Atmar and U.S ambassador James Cunningham at a televised ceremony, just one day after President Ghani was inaugurated.
This bilateral security agreement shows the remaining “commitment to Afghanistan,” as Cunningham said. “The fact shows the United States remained committed to Afghanistan, where foreign forces have helped provide security since the 2001 toppling of the radical Islam Taliban government over its sheltering of planners in the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Under the conditions of this newfound agreement, U.S. officials say 12,000 foreign military personnel are to stay after 2014, once the combat mission ends. This force will be comprised of approximately 9,800 U.S soldiers including other NATO members.
The effort is expected to assist and train Afghan security personnel in the war against the Taliban and other radical Islamic allies.
The Taliban forces denounced the agreement with the U.S on Tuesday, deeming the pact as a plot by the United States to control the nation of Afghanistan and reign as an international military power.
Through this pact, the U.S has the authority to keep military bases in Afghanistan as long as the agreement is in full force. In return, the U.S promises to raise money to train and aid in equipping the 350,000 Afghan security forces.