U.S. And NATO To End Afghanistan Combat In 2013
U.S. and NATO forces will turn over responsibility to the Afghan military in 2013, says Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
He likened this approach to the way Obama managed the final two years of U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Obama declared an end to the U.S. combat role there on Aug. 31, 2010 but kept tens of thousands of troops there through the end of last year to continue training and advising Iraqi security forces.
Panetta said no decisions have been made about how many U.S. troops would be required to remain there once the combat role has ended. He suggested, however, that large reductions, below the 68,000 troop level projected for this September, were unlikely in the months immediately after the shift. The U.S. now has about 91,000 troops there as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The fact that much military work will remain after 2013 “demands that we have a strong presence there,” he said.Click here for reuse options!
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