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Obama: Afghan Timeline Firm, but Flexible

President Obama speaks as Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg listens during their news conference in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
President Obama said Thursday the U.S. will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 even if the exact pace and details of the movements will depend on conditions at the time.

Mr. Obama said Thursday that he is committed to the timetable even though some critics question it because Washington is about to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Afghanistan

He made his remarks to reporters in Oslo, Norway, where he arrived Thursday to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - a controversial award for a president currently growing the U.S. military force in a war-torn country.

The president said that as the transition takes place, U.S. forces will help train Afghans to protect their population centers and degrade the Taliban's ability to wage war.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. will continue for years to help Afghanistan maintain its security forces and improve its agriculture and other economic sectors.

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