Obama, Karzai agree to speed military transition

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Associated Press

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Within a few months, U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be shifting to a support role, letting Afghanistan's own troops take the lead in providing for the security of their country.

The accelerated timetable was announced today by President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai after a meeting at the White House.

Obama said the faster transition to Afghan security control will set the stage for further withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces. But he didn't say how quickly a U.S. drawdown will be carried out this year and next.

He says plans remain on schedule for having Afghan forces fully responsible for security nationwide by the end of next year.

In a statement, the leaders said they had discussed the possibility of a continued U.S. troop presence beyond then, but they didn't settle on any specifics.

The leaders also said Obama has agreed to place detainees who are captured on the battlefield under the control of the Afghan government.

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223-w-32-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with President Obama)--President Obama says U.S. troops in Afghanistan will change their mission this spring, transitioning earlier than expected to a supporting role. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (11 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *223 (01/11/13)>> 00:32

216-a-11-(Afghan President Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye), at joint news conference with President Obama)-"to Afghan sovereignty"-Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he's pleased they worked out another key issue. (11 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *216 (01/11/13)>> 00:11 "to Afghan sovereignty"

215-w-34-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with President Obama)--President Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai are speeding up the transition to having Afghanistan's own forces take the security lead. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (11 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *215 (01/11/13)>> 00:34

GRAPHICSBANK: Hamid Karzai headshot, as Afghanistan President, and Barack Obama, as US President (l-r), drawing, graphic element on gray (11 Jan 2013)

APPHOTO DCPM113: Afghan President Hamid Karzai looks through his notes during his joint news conference with President Barack in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (11 Jan 2013)

<<APPHOTO DCPM113 (01/11/13)>>

APPHOTO DCPM111: President Barack Obama gestures as he answers a question during a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (11 Jan 2013)

<<APPHOTO DCPM111 (01/11/13)>>

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