Washington, Feb 25: US President Barack Obama would make an announcement on troop adjustment in Afghanistan soon as its evaluation is currently ongoing, Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers today.
"The President is on the right track (on his withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan). The evaluation that is going on now with respect to the adjustment on the troop is appropriate. And the president will make his decision shortly," Kerry said in his appearance before a Congressional committee.
The remarks were made in response to a question asked by Senator Thad Cochran -- "Do you support a conditions-based withdrawal in Afghanistan, of our military forces?".
Such a statement from the US Secretary of State comes in the wake of repeated requests from new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that the US should reconsider its decision on complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
During his maiden trip to Afghanistan, the new US Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, had said that he would consider the pace of drawdown of troops from Afghanistan based on conditions on the ground. A day earlier, the White House had indicated that the US President could tailor his Afghan Policy in particular the drawdown of troops following recommendations from the commanders on the ground.
"The strategy that the President has laid out is one that he continues to have confidence in. But the President continues to be open to taking advice from his military leadership, from the senior members of his national security team, to tailor that strategy to reflect the situation on the ground," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.
Ahead of President Ghani's US trip, Earnest said the US President has been very clear about what he believes the US strategy in Afghanistan should be, which is he has sought the responsible drawdown of US military personnel from Afghanistan.
"This strategy has been done in careful consultation with our military leaders, including our generals on the ground. It's been done in careful consultation with other senior members of the President's national security team, including National Security Council staff here at the White House, as well as our diplomats and our intelligence officers," he said.