September 27, 2011

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US military hopes to slash the cost of training Afghan forces over the next several years, partly because commanders expect the Taliban insurgency to decline, a top US general said Monday.

The United States has forecast that the annual price tag of training and equipping Afghan security forces in coming years would drop to about $6 billion but the officer overseeing the effort, Lieutenant General William Caldwell, said the cost likely will be much less.

“So what I will tell you is, from the efforts that have been ongoing here, it’s going to be significantly lower than that ($6 billion),” Caldwell told reporters by video link from Kabul.

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“We do in fact expect the level of insurgency to go down, we do in fact expect to find more efficiencies in how we do things…,” he said.

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