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Panetta Sees End Of U.S. 'Combat Role' In Afghanistan Next Year

The U.S. and NATO are aiming to end their combat operations in Afghanistan in 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters today as he flew to Brussels for NATO meetings.

According to The Washington Post, "Panetta's remarks were the first time the Obama administration has said it could foresee an end to regular U.S. and NATO combat operations by the second half of next year."

The Associated Press adds that Panetta said the U.S. and NATO will continue to focus on training and advising Afghan forces after the "combat role" ends.

The defense secretary's comments come the same day we heard another report about Pakistan's suspected support of the Taliban and reports about NATO intelligence that warns of a Taliban resurgence after international troops leave.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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