Tags: | Afghanistan | Military | Nevada | Brian Sandoval | Bob Goodman

Nevada Gov. Sandoval: Keep Military Force in Afghanistan

Image: Nevada Gov. Sandoval: Keep Military Force in Afghanistan
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Monday, 29 Sep 2014 01:04 PM

As a new president took control of Afghanistan on Monday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval urged President Barack Obama to keep a military advisory force in the trouble-torn country to "ensure security in the homeland."

The popular Republican, who's making a surprise trip to Afghanistan with other U.S. governors, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal by phone from Kabul that an American troop contingent must remain to prevent the Taliban terror group from gaining a foothold there similar to the Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS).

"I was very impressed in terms of the progress that has been made in the last three years with regard to education, health, infrastructure, public safety," said Sandoval, who last visited the country three years ago.

"One of the messages that became very clear to me today as a result of the briefings is that although we have made those gains, we have to remain vigilant. And that it is important that the United States maintain a presence here in Afghanistan to continue to ensure security in the homeland."

Sandoval¸ who's expected to have an easy victory in the November elections over his Democratic rival Bob Goodman, added, "A safer and more secure Afghanistan will transfer into a more safe and secure U.S."

He said that the U.S. doesn't want to see what has happened in Iraq happen in Afghanistan as well, according to the Review-Journal. The U.S. pulled out all its troops from Iraq in 2011, purportedly creating a vacuum that led to the rise of ISIS.

In May this year, Obama said that the 32,000 American troops then in Afghanistan would be reduced to 9,800 after this year. That number would be cut in half by the end of 2015, and by the end of 2016, there would be only a very small force to protect the embassy in Kabul and advise the Afghan military.

Sandoval was part of a group from the National Governors Association visiting the embattled nation, which also included New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri.

The governors, who were also traveling with Defense Department officials, have toured American bases during their brief trip, the Review-Journal reported.

Although Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, replacing Hamid Karzai, had his inauguration ceremony on Monday, the governors' group was missing the event as they were due to fly back to the U.S.

Sandoval has also visited Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where wounded American soldiers recover before returning to the U.S, the newspaper added.

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As a new president took control of Afghanistan on Monday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval urged President Barack Obama to keep a military advisory force in the trouble-torn country to "ensure security in the homeland."
Afghanistan, Military, Nevada, Brian Sandoval, Bob Goodman
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2014-04-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 01:04 PM
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