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Obama: US Role in Afghanistan Will Extend Beyond 2014

President made statement during surprise visit to Bagram Air Base

President Barack at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan. May 25, 2014. (White House / Pete Souza)

During a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Sunday, President Barack Obama said the U.S. military will continue its role in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Addressing 3,000 troops at Bagram Air Base, Obama stated, "With the bilateral security agreement, assuming it is signed, we can plan for a limited security presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014."

He did not specify for how long, or what is meant by a "limited" presence.

Obama expressed confidence that the BSA will be signed "once Afghanistan has sworn in its new president." The two front runners for Afghanistan's presidency, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have both vowed to sign the BSA if elected.

The BSA has been slammed for its provision of immunity to U.S. troops, allowance for continued raids, and green-light for open-ended occupation.

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