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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says al-Qaida is a "shadow of its former self," and does not pose the kind of threat to America that requires tens of thousands of U.S. troops to fight abroad.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, the president said U.S. troops will continue pursuing the remnants of al-Qaida in Afghanistan for a number of years.
He noted that various al-Qaida affiliates have emerged elsewhere in the world in recent years, including in Yemen and Somalia. Instead of sending large numbers of U.S. troops to fight there, he said, the U.S. aim will be to help those countries provide their own security and to help allies fight al-Qaida, as the French have done in the African nation of Mali.