By LARA JAKES, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says a small U.S. military force may remain in Afghanistan next year, but he's promising to declare an end to the 12-year war there at the end of 2014.
Obama said during his State of the Union speech Tuesday that Afghanistan will take responsibility for its own future after the end of the year.
He said any U.S. troops that remain beyond 2014 will only help continue to train Afghan forces and carry out counterterror operations against al-Qaida and other extremists.
Obama did not say how many troops might remain in Afghanistan after this year.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye) has so far refused to sign a security agreement with the U.S. that would allow American troops to remain.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.