The new realities on the ground in Afghanistan are forcing the president to reconsider his plan to withdraw on the timetable he had previously set, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday.

"Various new realities associated with new times, that's why the president considered then — is still considering — making adjustments to a plan that is two-and-a-half years old," Carter said at the final day of the Association of the United States Army's annual convention.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday that there is an "upcoming policy decision" the president will have to make with regard to troop levels in Afghanistan.

"We've made important progress against extremists in Afghanistan. However, there continues to be a terror threat emanating from Afghanistan," Earnest said. "It's not on the same scale of the risk, pre-9/11, but it's still a risk that we do not take lightly."

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