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The Boston Globe

World

US could pull out of Afghanistan entirely

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration gave the first explicit signal Tuesday that it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon’s view that thousands of troops may be needed to keep a lid on Al Qaeda and to strengthen Afghan forces.

‘‘The US does not have an inherent objective of ‘X’ number of troops in Afghanistan,’’ said Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser. ‘‘We have an objective of making sure there is no safe haven for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and making sure that the Afghan government has a security force that is sufficient to ensure the stability of the Afghan government.’’

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