Updated 01/11/2013 07:17 PM
Obama And Karzai Meet To Discuss Ending Afghan War
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American military operations in Afghanistan could be winding down sooner than expected.
After a White House meeting Friday, both President Barack Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai say they expect American forces to take on more of a support role in the region beginning this spring. That's a few months ahead of schedule.
Officials originally planned to switch from the combat mission in the summer, with a troop withdrawal in 2014.
They expect Afghan forces to handle their own security and support the government.
"Soon nearly 90 percent of Afghans will live in areas where Afghan forces are in the lead for their own security," Obama said.
"The international forces -- the American forces -- will no longer be present in Afghan villages," Karzai said. "The task will be that of the Afghan forces to provide for the Afghan people."
There are 66,000 U.S. service members currently in the country.
The White House is still deciding how many will stay behind after 2014.
The group could be as small as 2,500, but there's also talk of a complete pullout.