Washingtonmay leave less than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan for the training of the Afghan Security Forces beyond 2014. According to media reports, the decision to consider a small force, possibly 10,000 U.S. troops, reflects a belief among White House officials that the ASF is a robust enough force to contain a still potent Talibanled insurgency. The report quoted an unnamed U.S. official who confirmed that the discussion is very much alive among the White House, State Department and Pentagon officials regarding the residual U.S. forces to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
He said that a small residual consideration by the U.S. is partly based on Afghanistan’s surprisingly smooth elections which have won international praise for the high turnout. However, the presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 will be subject to the signature of the Bilateral Security Agreement between Kabul and Washington.