STUTTGART, Germany – The U.S. military's top officer says he wants to see how Afghan troops perform this summer before deciding how many U.S. forces should remain in the country after the American and allied combat role ends in 2014.
Gen. Martin Dempsey said in an interview Friday he sees no urgency for a final decision. Other officials have said President Barack Obama is likely to approve a residual force of up to 10,000 troops that would mainly be used to train and advise Afghans and to keep up counterterrorism operations.
Although no date has been announced, the final step in giving Afghan forces the lead combat role is supposed to be taken this spring. Dempsey said it will be important to assess how they do against the Taliban.