Die USA in Afghanistan nach 2014: Counter-Terrorism noch vor Unterstützung

US-Verteidigungsminister Leon Panetta (l.) bei der gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit Israels Verteidigungsminister Ehud Barak im Pentagon (Foto: U.S. Department of Defense)

US-Verteidigungsminister Leon Panetta hat die (militärischen) Ziele der USA in Afghanistan nach dem Ende der ISAF-Mission 2014 beschrieben: Couter-Terrorism steht für die USA da offensichtlich vor der Ausbildung, Beratung und Unterstützung (Train, Advise, Assist) der afghanischen Streitkräfte. Panetta äußerte sich dazu in der vergangenen Nacht bei einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit dem (scheidenden) israelischen Verteidigungsminister Ehud Barak:

SEC. PANETTA:  The fundamental mission in Afghanistan is to establish an Afghanistan that can secure and govern itself and ensure that Al Qaida never again finds a safe haven within Afghanistan from which to conduct attacks on the United States or any other country.
The goal here is an enduring presence, therefore, that will direct itself towards, you know, three important missions.
One is obviously CT, counterterrorism, to ensure that we continue to go after whatever Al Qaida targets remain in Afghanistan.  And although, you know, we clearly have had an impact on their presence in Afghanistan, the fact is that they continue to show up and intelligence continues to indicate that, you know, they are looking for some kind of capability to be able to go into Afghanistan, as well. That’s something we just have to be continually vigilant in terms of protecting against.  So that’s going to be the fundamental thrust of the CT effort in the enduring presence.  We also are going to continue to have a train-and-assist mission to help develop the capability of the Afghan army.  And the third mission will be to continue to provide some enabling capability so that we can provide the support needed for our forces, as well.
Q:  Does that suggest any size of force that would be adequate for that mission?
SEC. PANETTA:  That’s exactly what’s being discussed.

(Transkript der Pressekonferenz beim US-Verteidigungsministerium.)

Konstante Wachsamkeit gegen ein mögliches Wieder-Erstarken von Al Qaida – das ist, nach Panettas Aussagen, die Kern-Mission. Und über Zahlen will er (bislang) noch nicht öffentlich reden.