Biden to Karzai: We'll Stay Past 2014

But he promises US will 'not be an occupying force'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2011 11:53 AM CST
Biden to Karzai: We'll Stay Past 2014
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, shakes hands with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

So much for “hell or high water.” Joe Biden met with Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan yesterday, and emerged telling reporters that the US would be willing to keep troops in the country past 2014, provided the Afghan government wanted them there. “We have moved into a new phase in Afghanistan; a transition to a full Afghan lead” by 2014, Biden said. But “the United States, if the Afghan people want it, are prepared, and we are not leaving in 2014.”

But Biden was quick to add that the troops would be there to help build the nation, rather than as an occupying force. “We stand ready to help you in that effort,” he said. “And we will continue to stand ready to help you in that effort after 2014.” For more, including video of Biden's original “hell or high water” pledge, check the Huffington Post. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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