US envoy says Obama still mulling Afghan options

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. diplomat says President Barack Obama is still mulling a range of options for the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.

But James Dobbins, the president’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, tells a Senate committee that as the Afghans build up their country, they won’t stand alone.

Dobbins says in testimony Thursday the Obama administration is committed to a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghans that will allow them to maintain their own security and defeat remnants of al-Qaida or other terrorist groups that might threaten the U.S.

Dobbins says that is a limited mission that won’t require the same number of American forces that have been in Afghanistan for the last decade.

Currently there are about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.