Biden: Few Troops to Leave Afghanistan in 2011

US trying to work with reasonable Taliban members
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2010 5:26 AM CDT
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the annual Tennessee Democratic Party Jackson Day on Friday, July 16, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Don’t expect much from next summer’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. In an interview yesterday, Joe Biden said some troops would start leaving in July 2011, but added, “It could be as few as a couple thousand troops. It could be more. But there will be a transition.” Biden, backpedaling from earlier comments that next July would see "a lot of people moving out," said progress in the war has been a “tough slog” and that training Afghan forces had been a “painfully slow and difficult” process, according to USA Today.

Biden said that the military was, for the first time, “trying to figure out how to reconcile those in the Taliban who are doing it for the pay, who are not the Mullah Omars of the world, into the government,” and that it was too soon to say if the strategy was working. He also said he wasn’t offended by the disparaging remarks Stanley McChrystal and his staff made about him in the now-infamous Rolling Stone article, saying they were based on policy differences, not personal ones.

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