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President Obama: U.S. Military Will Shift to Support Role in Afghanistan Soon

barack obama hamid karzai
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the war in Afghanistan winding down after 11 years, President Barack Obama says the time is right for U.S. forces to let Afghans do their own fighting.

In his radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama says U.S. forces will shift to a support role as Afghan soldiers take the lead in defending their country.

Obama met Friday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House and agreed that U.S. troops will go home in larger numbers starting this spring — several months ahead of schedule. He says “America’s war in Afghanistan will be over” by the end of 2014.

In the Republican address, freshman Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska says that with the “fiscal cliff” averted, Congress and the president must focus on cutting “out-of-control” government spending.

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