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Udall Backs 2014 Troop Withdraw Plan in Afghanistan

Democratic Senator Mark Udall says he’s seeing a “sense of urgency” in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Senator Udall traveled to Afghanistan as part of a U.S. Congressional Delegation this week to talk with military leaders, the intelligence community and senior Department of State Officials.

The announcement comes as the U.S. is increasing its training of Afghan forces. The U.S. is working toward a complete withdraw of troops by the end of 2014.

“There’s some who say that the Taliban will wait out our departure. But we’re putting pressure on them and we’re really destroying their capabilities,” he said during a conference call with reporters. “The goal is to make it clear to them that it’s a no holds barred environment for the next three years.”

Udall says if insurgents harm U.S. personnel in Afghanistan from safe havens inside Pakistan “all bets are off.”  He says he's not suggesting any specific response but that the U.S. would have to take any such attack seriously—adding that safe havens threaten U.S. efforts to force the Taliban out of populated areas of Afghanistan.