The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 30, 2013

U.S. commandos hand over troubled area to Afghans

(Continued)

U.S. commandos will also continue to visit the Afghan team in Nirkh.

"We're going to support them from a distance," Thomas said. "The reality is there was such a groundswell of support (from locals) in Wardak after the initial allegations that we're keeping several teams down there to work with the Afghan security forces for the future, with an idea that we'll transition over time."

The American special operations troops are paired with and live alongside locally recruited and trained teams known as Afghan local police. Thomas said most of the local police will be paired with Afghan security forces by the end of the summer, with the Americans making occasional visits as they will do in Nirkh, to assess whether they need logistic or other support.

One Wardak government official expressed relief that the agreement crafted with Karzai did not mean the complete pullout of U.S. forces from the province, saying that local officials were worried their new forces would not yet be able to keep hardcore insurgents out of the area.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because his comments run counter to public statements made by Karzai that the Afghan security forces are ready for complete independence in Wardak.

 

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