General describes role in Afghanistan beyond 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's choice to be the top commander in Afghanistan said Thursday he envisions a U.S. presence in the country after American combat forces leave at the end of 2014, despite a national war-weariness reflected in Congress.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps who has directed combat forces in Iraq, told a Senate panel that the two main missions for an enduring force would be counterterrorism and assisting Afghan security forces. Pressed on numbers, Dunford declined to provide specifics but did say 1,000 troops would not be sufficient.
About 68,000 U.S. troops are still serving in a war that has dragged on for more than a decade. The Obama administration is expected to announce in the coming months the pace of the U.S. troop drawdown next year.
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