Senate backs quick withdrawal from Afghanistan

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate has voted to accelerate the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The 62-33 vote on Thursday reflected the nation’s war-weariness after more than a decade of fighting.

Although the vote was for a nonbinding amendment to the defense bill, it sent a strong signal about the ongoing conflict. Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon sponsored the measure.

It also set the stage for a fight with the House, which passed a bill in May that calls for President Barack Obama to maintain a force of at least 68,000 troops through the end of 2014.

The House and Senate will have to reconcile their competing versions of the defense policy bill.

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