SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he thinks a "fraction" of the current international fighting force will remain in Afghanistan four years from now.
There's been confusion about what the goal of a security handoff in 2014 really means. Gates, who's in Chile for defense meetings, is suggesting that U.S. forces are not likely to be fighting on the front lines after that date.
Gates was reacting to the 2014 goal that NATO leaders endorsed on Saturday.
He says the international forces still in Afghanistan in 2015 would focus on training and helping Afghan troops.
Gates says the mission after 2014 probably would resemble the current — and modest — U.S. role in Iraq.
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