Obama Talks With Afghan President By Phone

(Washington, DC) -- President Obama says the U.S. will "move forward with contingency planning" if Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not sign a negotiated security agreement. Obama and Karzai talked by phone and the President expressed hope that Karzai will sign the security pact. Karzai has so far resisted pressure to do so. U.S. combat troops are scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by the end of this year after more than a dozen years of war.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel later defined "contingency planning" as the "orderly withdrawal by the end of the year, should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014." The U.S. had been planning to keep some troops in Afghanistan to advise Afghan security forces on training, security and counterterrorism operations.