The US Defense Secretary nominee Ashton Carter has he would consider changing the current plans for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year if security conditions worsen.
Carter has served as deputy US Secretary of Defense from 2011- to 2013 and has been nominated to replace Chuck Hagel who resigned in November last year.
He also added that he is aware of reports that Islamic State militants may try to expand into Afghanistan, according to Carter’s comments included in his answers to a Senate Armed Services Committee questionnaire which was obtained by The Associated Press.
However, Carter insisted that he will work with coalition partners to ensure that doesn’t happen.
The remarks by Carter comes as Hagel said earlier in December last year that up to 10,800 US troops would remain in Afghanistan for the first few months of 2015 but the drawdown will restart and the number of US troops would be reduced to 5,500 by the end of the same year.
In the meantime, a latest survey conducted by the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research (ACSOR) revealed that many Afghans want to see a bigger US military role in Afghanistan while majority support the presence of US forces in the country.
According to the survey report 46 percent of Afghans want to see a “greater commitment” of U.S. forces in 2015 than planned, while only 29 percent said they want fewer or no U.S. forces.
The report also added that 77 percent of the poll participants have said they support the presence of American troops, while even more have said the U.S. campaign to oust the Taliban in 2001 was a good thing.