AFGHANISTAN - Dec. 26 - Abdullah Backs US Military Presence.
In his first news conference since the government took office, FM
Abdullah Abdullah says US military forces will be welcome in the country
for as long as it takes for the "eradication of terrorism in
Afghanistan completely. We don't want to see the job half
done". He says it is unlikely that the government would lose
tolerance for the continuing US military presence, which includes B-52
and other military planes in the skies and US Marines and Special Forces
soldiers on the ground. Those forces are continuing in the search for
Osama Bin Laden and other leaders of Al Qaida terror network. Abdullah
Abdullah says: "It took much less time than people outside of
Afghanistan were anticipating" to defeat the Taliban and send Al
Qaida on the run. "I don't see any reason for believing that
the next phase will take much longer than the first". He also says
the new government will wipe out drug production and trafficking.