White House: Obama 'clear' about Afghanistan withdrawal

President Obama has been "pretty clear" about his intention to end the combat mission in Afghanistan, the White House said Monday after the newly elected Afghan president suggested Obama should "re-examine" his timeline for withdrawal.

"What the president has been really clear about is what our strategy in Afghanistan is, that after the end of the year, we're now in a situation where the combat mission in Afghanistan for U.S. military personnel has ended," press secretary Josh Earnest said. "The Afghans are now solely responsible for the security of their country."


During an interview with CBS News that aired on Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that while "deadlines concentrate the mind," that they "should not be dogmas."

"If both parties or, in this case, multiple partners, have done their best to achieve the objectives and progress is very real, then there should be willingness to re-examine a deadline," Ghani said.

Although many combat troops have left Afghanistan, a residual force of about 10,000 troops remains in the country to help with counter-terrorism and training programs.

Earnest said the U.S. was "prepared to continue that partnership" and indicated that the Obama administration was still looking to work with the Afghan government on those shared priorities.

"We want to see that kind of coordination continue even as … as Afghans take sole responsibility for their security situation," Earnest said.