WASHINGTON: The Pentagon said on Monday said it did not see any “particular problems” in top Afghan leaders’ approach of seeking military assistance from India, particularly after 2014, when NATO-led troops are scheduled to leave the country.
“In terms of discussions about assistance in the security area, we and the Afghans have developed jointly a fairly aggressive plan that includes a broad range of support from the international community for developing capabilities that Afghanistan needs to defeat the insurgency,” a senior Defense Department official said.
Responding to questions on news reports that the Afghan government recently sought military assistance from India, he said: “We think it’s important to continue working on the lines of that agreed plan.? We have had discussions with the Indians about this issue.
“And I don’t see any particular problems with the overall approach,” the official said, requesting not to be named.
Key equipment sought by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) includes medium trucks that can carry 2.5-7 tonnes of cargo, bridge-laying equipment and engineering facilities.
The ANSF have also sought light mountain artillery, along with ordnance, a media report said, adding India had been asked to help Afghanistan build close air-support capabilities for its troops in preparation of a drastic scaling down of western forces in 2014.
But India has not yet not taken any decision and in fact is reluctant to do so, given the animosity this might generate in Pakistan.