Uncertainty greatest threat to Afghanistan

March 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 11 (UPI) -- What the future holds for Afghanistan beyond 2014 may be a greater concern for the people than Taliban threats, the top commander for NATO forces there said.

U.S. Marines Gen. Joseph Dunford following a visit to the country by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said post-2014 questions were lingering in the minds of many Afghans.

"The fear of uncertainty actually from my perspective right now is greater than any fear I've sensed about the Taliban," Dunford, the leader of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said at a news conference. "The people really are concerned about post-2014."

Nevertheless, Dunford said that Afghan national forces would be able to stand up on their own in securing national interests by 2014.

A suicide bomber struck the Afghan Defense Ministry building, killing 10, as Hagel made his first trip to Afghanistan since become secretary of defense. Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, before Hagel arrived, that the U.S. military was colluding with the Taliban in order to extend the mission there.

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