US envoy says Obama still mulling Afghan options

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By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. diplomat says President Barack Obama is still mulling a range of options for the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

But James Dobbins, the president's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, tells a Senate committee that as the Afghans build up their country, they won't stand alone.

Dobbins says in testimony Thursday the Obama administration is committed to a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghans that will allow them to maintain their own security and defeat remnants of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups that might threaten the U.S.

Dobbins says that is a limited mission that won't require the same number of American forces that have been in Afghanistan for the last decade.

Currently there are about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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