© UnknownMilitancy continues to claim civilian lives in Afghanistan despite the presence of 150,000 soldiers.
The United States continues its presence in Afghanistan to pursue a regime change policy aimed at Iran, China and Russia, a US anti-war activist says.

"That is a strategy of regime change," going on in regard to Russia, China and Iran, Richard Becker from ANSWER Coalition said in an interview with Press TV on Wednesday.

"You can see that between those countries -- Russia, China and Iran -- is Afghanistan and its strategic importance is very great in what is the drive of the US foreign policy to bring about a regime change wherever a government is not compliant with the wishes of the US policy makers and leaders," he added.

He further argued, "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been, since its beginning in 1949, an instrument of the United States. So, you have to ask the question "what is NATO doing in Afghanistan?" to begin with."

"Afghanistan is quite far from the Atlantic Ocean and it is serving as an expansion of the projections of US military power," Becker pointed out.

On Tuesday, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan Mark Sedwill said the US-led forces would remain there far beyond 2014, despite the planned handover of security to Afghan forces.

Last November, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that the alliance would start handing over control to Afghan security forces from the beginning of 2011 and that the transition would be completed by the end of 2014.

Despite the presence of some 150,000 US-led foreign troops in Afghanistan, the war-hit country remains devastated by militancy as well as persistent bombings and ground attacks by foreign troops that supposedly target militants but have left many civilians dead.

According to the United Nations' latest report, Afghan civilian deaths rose by 20 percentage points in the first 10 months of 2010.