Mitt Romney Shifting Tone On Afghanistan Plan

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Daniel Serwer, a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, told ABC News after Romney's Monday speech that the candidate presented "a distinction without a difference" on the Afghan question.

"He might push it back a couple of months," Serwer said in an email, "but he has never suggested anything more dramatic than that."

The NATO-backed plan to end combat operations and conduct a staggered withdrawal of troops would see internal security responsibility handed over to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government in 2013. The military force would begin marching home over the next year.

The U.S. will, however, maintain a "residual force" of unknown quantity for an unknown period of time after the current agreement expires. Financial support will also continue, at a shared estimated cost of $4 billion per year.

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