Official: U.S. to expedite gear to Afghan forces

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The Pentagon has agreed to speed up the process of providing equipment to the Afghan National Security Forces, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States said Monday.

Ambassador Eklil Ahmad Hakimi said Afghan Defense Minister B.K. Mohammadi met last week with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta; Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and defense procurement officials for a “detailed talk” about Afghan forces’ equipment needs to maintain internal security.

“During this visit we have received that commitments that providing all those enablers will be accelerated, that by 2014, we will have all those equipment that we need,” Mr. Hakimi said.

All U.S. and NATO combat troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, at which time Afghan soldiers and police officers will be in full charge of their country’s security.

U.S. and Afghan officials are negotiating on the number of American troops that will remain in the country after 2014 to train Afghan forces and conducted counterterrorism operations.

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