Monday, December 31, 2012 12:53 pm
Panetta praises Afghan security move
By The Associated Press
Panetta commented on Kabul's announcement Monday that the next phase of transferring security responsibilities from NATO to Afghan forces will begin in two months. It's the fourth step in a five-step process that began in 2011 and is scheduled to finish with Afghan forces fully in charge of security by the end of 2014.
By then, the U.S.-led NATO combat mission is to end. The Obama administration is currently considering how many U.S. troops it would keep there for a follow-on mission, which likely would include counterterrorism.
There are now 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.