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Afghan Leader: Troop Withdrawal Plan May Need to Be 'Re-examined'

Afghan Leader: Troop Withdrawal Plan May Need to Be 'Re-examined'
(Wakil Johshar/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 02 January 2015 02:12 PM EST

The deadline for withdrawing all U.S.-led coalition troops from Afghanistan may have to be "re-examined," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tells CBS News' "60 Minutes."

"If both parties — or, in this case, multiple partners — have done their best to achieve the objectives and progress is very real, then there should be willingness to re-examine a deadline," Ghani told reporter Lara Logan in an interview to be aired at 7 p.m., ET/PT on Sunday.

Asked by Logan whether President Barack Obama is aware of potentially altering the current withdrawal plan, which is now less than two years away, Ghani replies:

"President Obama knows me. We don't need to tell each other."

He adds that he is uncomfortable with the withdrawal mandate, telling Logan, "Deadlines concentrate the mind. But deadlines should not be dogmas."

Foreign military forces in Afghanistan are expected to leave by the end of 2016, after 13 years of war.

CBS News says that at their peak, coalition forces numbered 140,000 troops, the majority of them U.S. soldiers.

But only 10,000 U.S. soldiers now remain — and they will leave next year as part of Obama's plan to withdraw from Afghanistan by December 2016.

The news program reports that 2014 was the war’s "bloodiest year," with more than 5,000 Afghans from the army and police forces killed.

Gen. John Campbell, commander of the coalition forces in Afghanistan, tells Logan that Afghanistan's military is strong enough to keep a terror group like ISIS from establishing itself.

But there are concerns that al-Qaida and the Taliban, entrenched in Afghanistan for years, could grow.

Campbell says that as long as Afghan troops stay strong, such groups will not pose a threat to the U.S. and more troops will not be needed.

"That's why it's so important that we do build upon the Afghan capacity to keep that pressure on," he tells "60 Minutes."

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Newsfront
The 2016 deadline for withdrawing all U.S.-led coalition troops from Afghanistan may have to be "re-examined," Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has told CBS News' "60 Minutes" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.
afghan, coalition, troops, 2016, deadline, withdrawal
309
2015-12-02
Friday, 02 January 2015 02:12 PM
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