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Reports: Obama Considers Pulling All Troops From Afghanistan

U.S. troops at an April re-enlistment ceremony in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
Manjunath Kiran
AFP/Getty Images
U.S. troops at an April re-enlistment ceremony in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

President Obama is considering the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving no small residual force in that nation, according to reports from The New York Times and CNN.

Here's how the Times begins its report:

"Increasingly frustrated by his dealings with President Hamid Karzai, President Obama is giving serious consideration to speeding up the withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan and to a 'zero option' that would leave no American troops there after next year, according to American and European officials."

The top of CNN's story:

"President Barack Obama is seriously considering withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014, a senior administration official told CNN. The official's comments came after The New York Times reported the administration was looking at speeding up the troop withdrawal to the 'zero option,' leaving no troops in Afghanistan."

Among the issues that have frayed relations between Obama and Karzai in recent months: the Afghan president's objection to efforts by the U.S. to sit down with the Taliban for peace talks.

From Kabul, NPR's Sean Carberry reports that Afghan parliamentarian Shukria Barakzai and other lawmakers are concerned. They say Afghan security forces won't be ready to stand on their own without continued training and support from U.S. forces.

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET. No Decision Yet, White House Says:

White House spokesman Jay Carney "says no decision imminent on US military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, but 'zero option' remains a possibility," tweets CBS News' White House correspondent Mark Knoller.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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