Jan. 11 - President Hamid Karzai says the number of troops to remain in Afghanistan will be decided by the U.S. during a meeting with President Obama at the White House. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION President Barack Obama said on Friday (Jan. 11) U.S. troops would have a different mission in Afghanistan starting in the spring, "training, advising, assisting Afghan forces." Obama, standing next to Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a news conference, said what a transition to a more supporting role in Afghanistan in the spring would mean for a reduction in U.S. forces but offered no specific numbers on troop levels. Obama said he would wait for recommendations from U.S. military commanders in coming weeks before making decisions on whether to accelerate U.S. troop drawdowns in Afghanistan. Karzai said the issue of the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was "not for us to decide, it's an issue for the United States." He added that the number of troops "would have no particular concern." Obama said, We have come close to goal of dismantling al Qaeda." Obama added that it would not be possible for Afghanistan to reconcile with the Taliban unless the Islamist militant group renounces terrorism.