President Barack Obama has promised to speed up a transfer of lead security responsibility from NATO to Afghan forces this spring, in a sign the pace of US troop withdrawals could quicken.
After meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai Friday, Obama said NATO forces would have a “very limited” role in the country after 2014 and insisted that Washington had achieved its prime goal of “decapitating” Al-Qaeda.
The leaders met at a crucial moment in the final chapter of a long, bloody war, and as Obama balances the future security of Afghanistan with US combat fatigue and a desire to spend America’s dwindling resources at home.
“Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission — training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty,” Obama told a joint news conference. read full story.