Early decision on residual force size unlikely
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States had both time and space to finalise the number of troops it would have in Afghanistan after 2014, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, indicating a decision in this regard was not coming soon.
“We still have time to enter into an agreement with our Afghan partners. It's July of 2013, and our drawdown won't be complete until December 2014," the Pentagon press secretary said.
He told reporters there were a lot of intervening events and issues to grapple with. A final decision would be made by President Barack Obama, he said.
“At this point we can perhaps wait until, at a minimum, the end of this fighting season to take stock of where we are and then to make recommendations from there,” he said in response to a question.
The spokesman said Obama was still reviewing options from his national security team and had not made a decision yet about the size of the possible US military presence post 2014.
The residual force would focus on targeting the remnants of Al Qaeda and training and equipping Afghan forces, Little added.
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