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Obama: U.S. War In Afghanistan Winding Down

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President Barack Obama (R) listens as his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint press conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2013. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama (R) listens as his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint press conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 11, 2013. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — With the war in Afghanistan winding down after 11 years, President Barack Obama says the time is right for U.S. forces to let Afghans do their own fighting.

In his radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama says U.S. forces will shift to a support role as Afghan soldiers take the lead in defending their country.

Obama met Friday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House and agreed that U.S. troops will go home in larger numbers starting this spring — several months ahead of schedule. He says “America’s war in Afghanistan will be over” by the end of 2014.

In the Republican address, freshman Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska says that with the fiscal cliff averted, Congress and the president must focus on cutting “out-of-control” government spending.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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