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'Laden death won't impact Afghan policy'

world Updated: May 10, 2011 02:29 IST

The White House on Monday said that the killing of Osama bin Laden will not have any impact on President Barack Obama's policy on Afghanistan and the US would start withdrawing its troops from the war-torn country on schedule from July this year.

"The administration is, of course, in the process of reviewing the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and the progress that we've made since the surge reached its full complement. The President will look at the recommendations from his military commanders for the beginning of that transition in July and the pace of the drawdown," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

"What has not changed at all is the fact that there will be the beginning of that transition, there will be the beginning of a drawdown of those troops," he said in response to a question.

Carney said bin Laden's death reinforced the fact that the President's decision to refocus attention on the Af-Pak region has produced tremendous results for national security

"What also hasn't changed in fact, it's been reinforced by the events of eight days ago is that the President's decision to refocus the US government's attention on the Af-Pak region, on the fight against al Qaeda, has produced tremendous results for national security, for Americans' security, obviously culminating most recently in the elimination of Osama bin Laden, a mass murderer and the most wanted man in the world," he said.

"But prior to that, we have through that refocus been able to put greater pressure on al Qaeda than ever before, reducing the ranks of its leadership and forcing, putting the squeeze on Al Qaeda in a way that hadn't been done in a long, long time, and making them weaker, which is good, again, for the primary goal," said the White House Press Secretary.

"We had an interlude for a long time, between the invasion of Afghanistan and the arrival of this president in office, where the principal focus in the national security sense of the administration was on Iraq, and not on Afghanistan and not on Al Qaida central. And the shift was important in producing not just the elimination of Osama bin Laden, but a lot of other clear victories in that fight," Carney said.

"Our agenda, the President's agenda has not changed at all in the last eight days. This was on his agenda, very high up, getting Osama bin Laden, but there are a lot of other issues," he said.