Ross Colvin
December 11, 2009

[efoods]There will be no “precipitous drawdown” of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and U.S. troops could still be in the country for years to come, President Barack Obama said on Thursday.

Obama told Americans in a televised speech last week U.S. troops would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan on July 2011 as they transferred control to newly trained Afghan security forces.

Obama, in Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, shied away from repeating the word “withdraw” and said July 2011 would signal a shift in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, when “we are beginning to transfer responsibility to the Afghan people.”

There has been debate in Washington over Obama’s commitment to the July 2011 withdrawal date after administration officials testifying before the U.S. Congress suggested it was flexible.

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