The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins has said that the US-led military presence in Afghanistan will remain “significant” despite military withdrawal from the country this year.
Dobbins further added that Washington was still considering the details of the withdrawal plan.
“I hope we will decide sometime in the next month or two on the exact size of (the remaining) contingent,” Dobbins quoted by AFP said.
He said, “We and our allies, I think, will be prepared for a continuing advisory mission, much smaller numbers than we have there today but still significant in terms of its ability to continue to improve the quality of the Afghan security forces,”
Around 51,000 US-led coalition forces are still stationed in Afghanistan under the NATO-led international security assistance force (ISAF) mission.
The majority of the coalition security forces are expected to leave Afghanistan after ending a long and costly battle against the Taliban.
Both the United States and NATO are considering leaving a residual force in Afghanistan to train and advise the Afghan security forces besides carrying counter-terrorism operations against the remnants of the al Qaeda militants.
The presence of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan would be subject to the conclusion of the bilateral security agreement which has been delayed by Afghan president Hamid Karzai