Kerry: Obama will announce Afghanistan troop withdrawal plans 'shortly'


Kerry said only that the president was "committed to supporting the Afghan military beyond 2014" when pressed on the number of troops that might remain.

Speaking at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday at the White House, Obama said the leaders had reviewed the progress made by coalition forces there.

"As planned, Afghan forces will take the lead for security across the country soon — this spring," Obama said. "U.S., British and coalition forces will move into a support role. Our troops will continue to come home, and the war will end by the end of next year, even as we work with our Afghan partners to make sure that Afghanistan is never again a haven for terrorists who would attack our nations."

In March, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, warned that withdrawing too many troops in the coming year "runs the risk of plunging into chaos."

"Leaving before stability is assured would not only unravel all that we have worked so hard to accomplish in Afghanistan, but it would undermine the efforts of our men and women who have served so bravely and have sacrificed so much in Afghanistan," Ros-Lehtinen said.