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Weekly Addresses: Afghanistan, Spending [VIDEO]

With the war in Afghanistan winding down after 11 years, President Barack Obama says the time is right for U.S. forces to let Afghans do their own fighting.

In his radio and Internet address Saturday, Obama says U.S. forces will shift to a support role as Afghan soldiers take the lead in defending their country.

Obama met Friday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House and agreed that U.S. troops will go home in larger numbers starting this spring — several months ahead of schedule. He says “America’s war in Afghanistan will be over” by the end of 2014.

In the Republican address, freshman Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska says that with the fiscal cliff averted, Congress and the president must focus on cutting “out-of-control” government spending.

“These hardworking taxpayers are tired of petty ‘beltway battles’ and they’re frustrated with the lack of progress from their elected leaders,” said Fischer.

“It’s no secret that to cut spending, we must find ways to reduce the costs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid–the primary drivers of our national debt,” she said. “We must do so in a way that keeps our promises to America’s seniors, retirees, and those nearing retirement age. That is not a point for debate. But in order to save these popular programs, we must reform them. If not, they will no longer exist for future generations and will bankrupt us in the meantime.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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