President Obama and Hamid Karzai in 2012(Photo: MANDEL NGAN, AFP/Getty Images)
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrived at the White House on
Friday to talk with President Obama about the pace of withdrawal of U.S.
troops from his war-torn nation.
Obama, Karzai and their staffs
have a string of meetings before lunch; the two presidents have a brief
news conference scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
"The President looks
forward to welcoming the Afghan delegation to Washington, and discussing
our continued transition in Afghanistan, and our shared vision of an
enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan," said a
White House statement.
With the U.S. and its allies scheduled to
end combat operations in 2014, American and Afghan officials are
discussing the possibility to maintaining a U.S. residual force in
Some U.S. commanders have proposed keeping 6,000 to
15,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, to keep battling terrorists and
training Afghan forces.
Some Obama aides want a faster draw down
and a much smaller U.S. presence at the end -- some have even discussed a
There are currently 66,000 troops in Afghanistan.
who wants a relatively large residual force in Afghanistan, has also
met this week with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense
Secretary Leon Panetta. This is his first talk with President Obama
since a video conference on Sept. 21.
There have been tensions
between the Obama and Karzai governments. Karzai has criticized the
American military over civilian deaths in the war; Obama and aides have
complained of corruption within Karzai's government.