Pakistani Official: U.S. Exit from Afghanistan Could Lead to Civil War

U.S. troops in Afghanistan / AP


Civil war could break out if the Obama administration withdraws all troops from Afghanistan, a senior Pakistani official said Tuesday.

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

The departure of US forces would likely create "mayhem" in the country, which could ultimately prompt one-third of Afghan security forces to desert their posts in the Army and police, the official said in remarks at the Center for Media and Security in Washington, D.C.

"The zero option means a civil war in Afghanistan," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he had directed the Pentagon to prepare for a complete pullout of troops by the end of 2014.

The move was widely seen as a warning to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who "has demonstrated that it is unlikely that he will sign" the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), which lays the legal framework for US troops to remain in the country after 2014, according to the White House statement.