Biden pushing for small U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan

Vice President Biden is pushing for a much smaller, barebones U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014 than military officials want, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday

Biden is advocating for a force of 2,000-3,000 versus the 9,000-12,000 force military officials want to keep there, in order to continue training Afghan troops and secure gains against Taliban insurgents. 

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The deliberations came during a White House meeting of top national security officials Thursday on the future of the U.S. troop presence after the combat mission in Afghanistan ends in 2014. 

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has, so far, refused to sign an agreement that would even allow U.S. troops to remain there after 2014, frustrating U.S. officials. 

Some White House officials are still advocating the so-called "zero option" — where all U.S. troops would leave Afghanistan, said current and former Defense officials. 

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) told reporters Tuesday that there was some talk of the zero option after receiving a closed briefing from administration officials. 

The House Armed Services Committee chairman said he worried the zero option in Afghanistan would lead to a resurgence of al Qaeda, as it did in Iraq. 

"We see what's happening in Iraq, with all the terrorists and deaths that are being caused because of a lack of our presence," McKeon said.