Obama, Karzai Agree to Speed Military Shift in Afghanistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2013 2:31 PM CST
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on right side of table, dines with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, left, in a small room at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.   (J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said today they have agreed to speed up slightly the schedule for moving Afghanistan's security forces into the lead across the country, with US troops shifting fully to a support role. The leaders also said Obama agreed to place battlefield detainees under the control of the Afghan government. Obama, appearing at the White House with Karzai at his side, said accelerating the transition to Afghan security control this spring would set the stage for further withdrawal of US and other foreign forces.

But Obama did not say how quickly a US drawdown would be carried out this year and next. There are now 66,000 US troops there. "Starting this spring our troops will have a different mission: training, advising and assisting Afghan forces," Obama said. "It will be a historic moment." He added later that even in a backup role he could not rule out that US troops could be drawn into combat. But he emphasized that their main role would be support, such as training and advising. Karzai said he was pleased by the agreement, in part because it means that by spring there will be no foreign troops in Afghan villages. See more here.

View 2 more images

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Obama, Karzai Agree to Speed Military Shift in Afghanistan is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 16 comments
Jan 12, 2013 8:34 AM CST
Thank you President Obama. Thank you for bringing our boys home in 2014. Afghanistan is a better place after the fall of the Taliban. God bless America.
Jan 12, 2013 6:40 AM CST
Karzai should stop supplying the world with Heroin. That should be all Obama cares about.
Jan 11, 2013 11:40 PM CST
Oh, hey, does anyone remember this old classic? "Cut 'n run! Cut 'n run! We gonna just cut 'n run!?!?"