US options for Afghanistan: 0 to 10,000 US troops
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer says the Pentagon has developed several options for the size of the post-2014 force in Afghanistan, ranging from zero to 10,000 troops. But he says that with every day that goes by some of the options become less likely.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who was in Afghanistan last week, tells the Senate Armed Services Committee that there will be a period of greater instability in that country after the April elections.
President Barack Obama last week ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for a complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan because Afghan President Hamid Karzai refuses to sign a bilateral security agreement that would enable troops to stay. Obama says the U.S. can wait until after the elections to conclude the agreement.