By ROD NORDLAND
First, American officials were talking about July 2011 as the date to begin the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Then, the Americans and their NATO allies began to talk about transition, gradually handing over control of the war to the Afghans until finally pulling out in 2014. Now, however, the talk is all about what happens after 2014.
The Russians, however, have complained that any talk of a foreign troop presence in Afghanistan after 2014 violates international understandings, including one made in a joint statement by President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev on June 24 supporting a neutral status for Afghanistan.
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