US to leave 9 800 US troops in Afghanistan

2014-05-27 18:40
A US Marine watches a combined air and ground exercise. (AP)

A US Marine watches a combined air and ground exercise. (AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama will announce plans on Tuesday to seek to leave 9 800 US troops in Afghanistan after the formal troop draw down at the end of this year, a senior administration official said.

The number emerged after Obama held talks with US military commanders at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Sunday as the United States winds down a war begun in the aftermath of the 9/11, 2001 attacks.

Obama was to make the announcement in a 14:45 EDT (18:45 GMT) statement in the White House Rose Garden.

US officials are expressing increasing confidence that the next Afghan president will sign a bilateral security agreement that Obama wants before the United States will agree to leave behind troops to help train Afghan forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations.

Under the scenario envisioned by Obama, the 9 800 troops would stay for a year, then that number would be reduced by half by the end of 2015, the official said.

By the end of 2016, the US presence would be cut to a normal embassy presence as has been done in Iraq, the official added.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  afghanistan
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