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White House Mulls Leaving No Troops Behind in Afghanistan

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/Released(WASHINGTON) -- Is there zero-chance President Obama might consider the "zero-option" in Afghanistan?

With tensions between Washington and Kabul at an all-time high, The New York Times reported Tuesday that the White House is mulling the possibility of leaving no troops behind when the U.S. and its coalition allies withdraw from Afghanistan next year.

Until recently, the president seemed intent on keeping a small "residual force" in the country to help Afghan troops and police maintain security.

However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears to have turned more ornery than ever and is said to be furious that the U.S. and Pakistan might negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban, thus marginalizing his government's say in the matter.

While Karzai's fears may be exaggerated, his response has been swift by breaking off long-term post-war strategic talks with Washington that would allow the U.S. to maintain a force in Afghanistan after next year.

If relations continue to deteriorate, Obama might also speed-up troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, according to the Times, although White House officials say no decision has been made on changing the present timetable.

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