President Barack Obama says it's "hard to anticipate" the exact U.S. role in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

That's the date for U.S. and NATO troops to transfer control to Afghan forces. But Obama says U.S. counterterror operations will go on until officials are confident al-Qaida is no longer operating.

The president says the goal is for Afghans to be in the lead in 2014 and that the U.S. isn't still involved in the type of combat operations going on now.

He says he anticipates the change in operations in Afghanistan will be similar to what's happened in Iraq.