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General: Some U.S. forces should stay

Published By United Press International
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, President Obama's choice as the next commander in Afghanistan, says a NATO pullout in 2014 is realistic.

Dunford, testifying Thursday before a Senate committee holding hearings on his confirmation, said some U.S. forces are likely to stay in the country after NATO withdraws, The Washington Post reported.

The Senate is expected to act quickly on Dunford's confirmation. He is to succeed Marine Gen. John Allen as commander of the International Security Assistance Force, the U.S. and NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Dunford said more than 1,000 soldiers would be needed in Afghanistan after 2014 but did not specify a number.

Allen, who has been appointed commander of U.S. forces in Europe, was supposed to appear with Dunford at a joint confirmation hearing. Obama asked the Senate to wait on confirming Allen after he became entangled in the sexual scandal that forced retired Gen. David Petraeus to resign as director of the CIA.
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Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa