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Jun 20, 2012 5:57 PM by Matt Stafford

Summer poses toughest test for Afghan force

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior military officials are telling skeptical U.S. lawmakers that this summer's fighting in Afghanistan will be the toughest test for the country's security forces.

David Sedney, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, testified Wednesday that the Afghan National Security Forces are taking the lead in more than 40 percent of missions, but rooting out insurgents in more heavily populated regions in the coming months will test their capability.

Members of a House Armed Services subcommittee raised questions about the attrition rate and the ability of the force that the United States is training to take the lead.

The current plan calls for the U.S. to withdraw its surge force of 23,000 American troops by the end of September, with a complete drawdown of U.S. forces by December 2014.

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