Barack Obama and Aghanistan President Hamid Karzai held a press conference today at the White House.
Obama announced that the War in Afghanistan will come to a “responsible end” in 2014… when the Taliban terrorist group will assume control of the country.
Business Insider reported:
President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a press conference today that they are accelerating the process of the transition in Afghanistan. Obama said that beginning this spring, U.S. troops would “move to a support role.”
“Starting this spring our troops will have a different mission,” Obama said. “Training, advising, assisting Afghan forces.” He later added that the focus would be on “targeted counter-terrorism missions against al-Qaeda and their affiliates.”
Currently, roughly 68,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. In meetings on Friday, the two leaders discussed various plans to continue the transition in Afghanistan, as well as the size of a potential residual force that could remain in the country after the official end of the war.
The Obama-Karzai meeting is the pair’s first since Obama’s re-election in November. It also comes amid a shakeup in Obama’s second-term defense team, as Obama has announced nominees to fill the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and CIA Director positions.
Two of those nominees — former Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense and Sen. John Kerry for state — could push for a faster withdrawal than what has been on the table.
“By the end of next year — 2014 — the transition will be complete,” Obama said. “This war will come to a responsible end.”