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Mitch McConnell wants to keep 10K troops in Afghanistan


Sen. Mitch McConnellWashington (AP) - The United States should keep a residual force of about 10,000 in Afghanistan after combat forces leave at the end of 2014, the Senate Republican leader said Monday after a series of meeting with military leaders in the country.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, who led a congressional delegation to Afghanistan and Israel, expressed optimism about an 11-year war that now stands as the longest in American history, and the prospect of Afghans assuming a lead role in the fighting.

"My observation about Afghanistan at this point is this is the first time I've left there with a sense of optimism," he told reporters in a conference call.

"I think there's a widely held view among the American military leaders there — we met with Gen. (John) Allen — that this has a very great potential for a happy ending after 2014, provided we have a residual force that we can provide for training," he added.

The United States now has 66,000 troops in Afghanistan.

Read more: Mitch McConnell wants to keep 10K troops in Afghanistan

Obama political machine to be fired up, ready to go for second term


From: CNN

Washington - President Barack Obama’s campaign operation is about to be fired back up just a few months after helping him win a second term with a new mission to assist the president in promoting his top legislative goals and progressive issues.

Senior Obama campaign aides are currently working on the specifics of how to restructure Obama for America, but are considering several different options such as converting it to a 501c4 or perhaps a super PAC, a source familiar with the campaign said.

The new campaign organization will be headed by Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager who oversaw the president’s victory over Republican Mitt Romney in November. Messina, Stephanie Cutter, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon and several other top Obama aides are working out the details.

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