President Obama is halting plans to pull all troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year, instead cutting the number in half going into 2017, according to a senior administration officials.
Today's level of 9,800 military personnel will remain through "most of" 2016, officials said. Without specifying exactly when, late in the year the number of troops, all of whom are non-combat, will drop to 5,500.
Obama, who officially ended combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of last year, has been under pressure from Afghan officials, regional allies and some lawmakers to leave more than just enough troops to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul ever since.
Gen. John Campbell, who runs the NATO-led force remaining in Afghanistan, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that he recommended revamping the U.S. plan for leaving as few as 1,000 troops beyond 2016 in light of renewed Taliban fighting, al Qaeda presence and Islamic State gains there.
"As a result, I've put forward recommendations to adjust this new environment while addressing our core missions: train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations to protect the homeland," Campbell told the committee on Oct. 6.Read more on WashingtonExaminer.com