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US Senator Wants US Military in Afghanistan Forever
-- A senior Republican senator has said a plan should be devised for American troops to remain permanently in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
The Republican senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that Republicans would now push for an indefinite US stay in Afghanistan.
He said: "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. It would be a signal to Pakistan that the Taliban are never going to come back. It would be a signal to the whole region that Afghanistan is going to be a different place."
But, he said, the Afghan people would have to earn such a relationship with the US, "so we can have an enduring relationship, economic and militarily and politically."
On the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the US would more than triple its customs and border patrol experts in Afghanistan in 2011.
She said the experts would train Afghan police and customs officials to better manage the country's border crossings.
Recently, the commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus said that the Western military alliance would increase its operations along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Analysts have suggested the US will look for a reason expand its military operations in the troubled South and central Asian regions, in order to place bases near Russia and China.