WASHINGTON - The latest attack on Kabul will not deter the American administration's commitment to the process of transitioning security from NATO-led troops to Afghan forces, the White House has said. "It's important to make clear that this will in no way deter our commitment to the mission, which is to provide for security, as we work to transition a security lead to Afghan national security forces," the White House press secretary said.
As that mission has had important success, Jay Carney said, the US continued with and moved towards drawing down surge forces, and further training up and increasing the capacity of Afghan national security forces.
US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: "I think, at the moment, we're focused on calming the situation and trying to investigate precisely what happened. So I think it's premature to make a sweeping judgment."
But these kinds of cowardly attacks were not going to stop US efforts to help the Afghan people have the future that they wanted and that they deserved, she remarked, saying Washington supported an Afghan-led reconciliation process.
"If and when those reconciling Taliban renounce violence in the first instance are willing to live by the constitution, put down their arms, and are willing to support universal human rights, that would obviously not apply to the kind of people who would perpetrate these kinds of incidents," she said. Also on Tuesday, the Pentagon said the enemy would fail to change the transition plan. "We will not deter in Afghanistan. The insurgents would not prevail. Our resolve is unwavering. The transition remains on track," the Pentagon spokesman said.
George Little viewed the incident as a coordinated set of attacks, saying there was a significant response from Afghan ground forces and ISAF.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would do everything it could to combat those who conducted the cowardly attacks on the American Embassy and other buildings in Kabul. She added the US was moving to ensure the perpetrators were stringently dealt with.
Little said the fighting season had shown a less effective insurgency. The militants are resorting to such attacks because they could no more carry out widespread offensives. "That's a tribute to the significant effort of ISAF, American forces and Afghans who have taken the fight in a very aggressive way to the insurgents..."