There currently are an estimated 87,000 international troops in Afghanistan, including about 52,000 Americans.
President Barack Obama told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday that he would consider keeping some American forces on the ground after the conflict formally ends next year, but acknowledged that doing so would require an agreement. He suggested that if no agreement can be reached, he would be comfortable with a full pullout of U.S. troops.
"If, in fact, we can get an agreement that makes sure that U.S. troops are protected, makes sure that we can operate in a way that is good for our national security, then I'll certainly consider that," Obama said. "If we can't, we will continue to make sure that all the gains we've made in going after al-Qaida we accomplish, even if we don't have any U.S. military on Afghan soil."
Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed to this report. Quinn reported from Kabul.