U.S. to soon determine post-2014 troop presence in Afghanistan

Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:21pm EST

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta addresses a news conference during a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels October 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

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ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Nov 12 - The United States will determine in the next several weeks how many troops it will keep in Afghanistan as part of a residual force following the drawdown of most combat forces at the end of 2014, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday.

Panetta said the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, had submitted several recommendations for an enduring presence which were being reviewed by the Pentagon and White House.

"My hope is that we'll be able to complete this process in the next few weeks," Panetta told reporters flying with him to Australia. "I'm confident that we'll be able to get to the right number that we're going to need for the post-2014 enduring presence."

Panetta explained that the different options took into consideration the different types of missions for U.S. forces in the post-2014 period, including counter-terrorism, training Afghan forces and advising them.

"All of those are being carefully reviewed," Panetta said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Todd Eastham)

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Comments (7)
Chalton wrote:
Zero sounds like the appropriate number to me, and to most Americans. How many troops did the Russians leave behind after they left?

Nov 12, 2012 7:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:
How many troops we will keep in Afghanistan after we pull out?
Heck, let’s keep 500,000 there for 1000 years.

Nov 12, 2012 7:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
joe10082 wrote:
Hopefully there won’t be any America soldiers there except for Panetta. He should remain to watch the return of the enemy to this empty and desolate land.

Nov 12, 2012 7:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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