Obama nixes Afghanistan troop draw­down

Daily Trust - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, call­ing Afghanistan’s se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion pre­car­i­ous, said on Wed­nes­day he will keep U.S. troop lev­els there at 8,400 through the end of his ad­min­is­tra­tion rather than re­duc­ing them to 5,500 by year’s end as pre­vi­ously planned.

Obama, in a state­ment at the White House, said the role of U.S. forces in Afghanistan will re­main un­changed: train­ing and ad­vis­ing Afghan po­lice and troops, and sup­port­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sions against the Tal­iban and other groups. Obama’s pres­i­dency ends in Jan­uary.

Obama’s plan still calls for a re­duc­tion in U.S. troop lev­els from the cur­rent roughly 9,800, but not as much as pre­vi­ously planned.

“The se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan re­mains pre­car­i­ous,” Obama said. “The Tal­iban re­mains a threat. They’ve gained ground in some places.”

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