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Pentagon: Afghan military will need help beyond 2014

Afghanistan’s military is growing stronger but will require ‘substantial’ additional training and foreign financial aid after the American and NATO combat mission ends next year, the Pentagon told Congress on Tuesday.

The Pentagon’s assertion comes amid debate about the White House’s reluctance to announce how many — if any — US forces should remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to help Afghan forces hold off the Taliban.

White House officials have held out the possibility that no US forces would stay, but no decision has been made.

In its twice-a-year report to Congress, the Pentagon said Tuesday that it will be difficult to judge whether Afghanistan can keep the upper hand against the Taliban until the exact size of a post-2014 US military presence is determined.
The report painted a largely positive picture of progress in strengthening the Afghan army.  
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