WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the decision on how many U.S. troops to leave in Afghanistan won't be imminent. But it's leaving open the possibility the U.S. won't leave forces there after combat troops depart in 2014.
White House press secretary Jay Carney says the so-called "zero option" is still on the table. He says the U.S. will have clear objectives for its mission in Afghanistan after the long-planned drawdown. He says those objectives could be met with a residual force or through other means.
Carney's comments come amid sharp debate over America's long-term military commitment to Afghanistan and rising tensions between the U.S. government and Afghan President Hamid Karzai