US may leave no troops in Afghanistan

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The US now has 66,000 troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of about 100,000 as recently as 2010. (Reuters) The US now has 66,000 troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of about 100,000 as recently as 2010. (Reuters)
SummaryThis defies Pentagon view that thousands of troops may be needed to keep lid on al-Qaeda.

revert to being the al-Qaeda haven it was prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and getting the government to the point where it can defend itself.

"That's what guides us, and that's what causes us to look for different potential troop numbers _ or not having potential troops in the country,'' Rhodes said.

He predicted that Obama and Karzai would come to no concrete conclusions on international military missions in Afghanistan beyond 2014, and he said it likely would be months before Obama decides how many US troops _ if any – he wants to keep there.

Rhodes said Obama remains committed to further reducing the US military presence this year, although the pace of that withdrawal will not be decided for a few months. Last year the US military pulled 23,000 troops out of Afghanistan on Obama's orders.

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