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Specter of Benghazi drives US-Afghan talks

By By KIMBERLY DOZIER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Last year's attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya has become a factor driving the White House decision on how many troops to leave in Afghanistan after 2014 — and a specter hanging over U.S.-Afghan talks in Washington.

The Afghan president wants a near-total drawdown of U.S. forces, with a surge of aid for his own troops.

U.S. officials say that after losing a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, they will insist on sufficient troops to guard U.S. posts and the legal authority to target those who might come after them. Without those troops, U.S. officials may have to shrink the U.S. diplomatic mission — and the aid that comes with it.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly.

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