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Kabul opposes US permanent bases

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government has strongly rejected the notion of establishing permanent US military bases in Afghanistan.


Chief presidential spokesman Waheed Omar said during a press conference in Kabul on Monday that the issue has never been discussed in meetings between officials of the two countries.

"We have announced earlier that we are in touch with United States on the issue of long-term strategic partnership but not on the possible establishment of a permanent US base in Afghanistan," he said.

The remarks come after a senior congressman called for permanent US military bases in the war-ravaged country.

Senator Lindsay Graham said on Sunday that American air bases in the war-torn country would benefit the US and its Western allies, if maintained by the US military.

"We have had air bases all over the world and a couple of air bases in Afghanistan would allow the Afghan security forces an edge against the Taliban in perpetuity,” Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday.

“It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never going to come back. In Afghanistan they could change their behavior. It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is going to be a different place.”

About 150,000 NATO troops are currently fighting in Afghanistan with plans to stay in the country beyond 2014.

This is while US President Barack Obama had pledged a major drawdown from Afghanistan by July 2011. Experts have described the new transition dates as a devastating truth for Americans.

Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus has recently hinted that the Western military alliance will increase its operations along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

"We want to do more hammer and anvil operations," Petraeus said in late December.

Analysts say the US is looking for an excuse to expand its military operations in the troubled South and central Asian regions to secure bases near Russia and China.
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