US President Barack Obama believes it is time for Afghan forces to take charge of the country's security and American troops need to return home, his spokesman said.
Jay Carney, responding to the Republican criticism of setting a withdrawal timeline, Carney argued that it had worked in Iraq and would produce the desired results in Afghanistan too.
"The purpose of setting a deadline is to make it clear to the government in Kabul, as it was made clear to the government in Baghdad, that they need to begin to take increasing responsibility for their own security…" he observed.
Obama had made clear in his campaign in 2008 that he would end the war in Iraq, said Carney, who added the president had also vowed to refocus attention on what was a neglected war in Afghanistan, refocus the mission on decimating Al-Qaeda's leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The president had kept his word, the press secretary said, referring to Obama's stance that the war in Afghanistan was not without end.