Obama nixes Afghanistan troop drawdown
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.”