WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Army on Thursday informed that General David Petraeus discussed the viable options for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
"Progressively over time, obviously, we do want to reduce our numbers in specific locations based on condition," said Petraeus in Kabul. "We believe that there are some very viable candidates for transition that we will be able to identify."
Petraeus, the senior commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, added that Afghan President Hamid Karzai will receive a recommendation around the end of February on the first areas that can be transitioned.
However, Petraeus assured that the withdrawal of U.S. troops will not happen in a sudden exodus. The U.S. will hand security responsibilities to Afghanistan in a progressive manner.
In addition, Afghan security forces must continue growing and the U.S. will provide support and training in the mean time. Petraeus added that Afghan army and police forces have significantly grown in number over the past year, mainly due to high recruiting.
U.S. President Barack Obama has directed that the troops stationed in Afghanistan will begin transitioning out in July. In order to achieve such goal, a comprehensive civil-military campaign was launched last fall.
Petraeus added that the campaign includes all the inputs necessary for success: 70,000 new Afghan army and police recruits, 30,000 additional U.S. forces and 10,000 other coalition forces.
These forces are currently working to solidify and expand their hold on areas around Kabul, on Kandahar and central Helmand province in which the Taliban still operate. Pakistan is aiding security efforts against the Taliban within regions of the Pakistani-Afghan border.
In January, Petraeus announced that the mission in Afghanistan made impressive progress in 2010 despite being the deadliest year for international troops as 709 coalition soldiers were killed.
(BNO NEWS )