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Dempsey in Afghanistan to discuss withdrawal deadlines, concerns over political transition

Obama Syria-1.jpg

FILE - This Aug. 20, 2014 file photo shows Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaking in New York. President Barack Obama's military leadership made clear in recent days that the threat from the Islamic State militants, who murdered American journalist James Foley, cannot be fully eliminated without going after the group in Syria, as well as Iraq."This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated," said Dempsey. "Can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border." (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) (The Associated Press)

The top U.S. military officer says the Pentagon has developed plans that will allow American forces to stay in Afghanistan a bit beyond the end of the year if the contested presidential election drags on and no security agreement is signed.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who flew into Afghanistan Monday, says that under optimum circumstances the U.S. will need about four months to pull all troops and equipment out of Afghanistan if there is no agreement allowing them to stay into 2015.

But Dempsey says the U.S. can act quickly to pull out if needed. He says the military has a plan ready should the current election stalemate continue.

All American forces will leave Afghanistan if no agreement is signed.

Both presidential contenders say they will sign it.