MILITARY

US decides to leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan aids allies

  • President Barack Obama, flanked by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, makes a statement on Afghanistan from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The president said the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America's interests depend on helping Afghanistan's struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    President Barack Obama, flanked by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, makes a statement on Afghanistan from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The president said the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America's interests depend on helping Afghanistan's struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

  • President Barack Obama, flanked by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, makes a statement on Afghanistan from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The president said the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America's interests depend on helping Afghanistan's struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    President Barack Obama, flanked by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, left, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, makes a statement on Afghanistan from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The president said the U.S. will leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan when he completes his term, down slightly from the current number but well up from the 5,500 he announced previously, arguing America's interests depend on helping Afghanistan's struggling government fight continuing threats from the Taliban and others. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  (The Associated Press)

President Barack Obama's decision to slow the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan will be welcomed at the NATO summit this weekend. It will provide aid for allied forces and bolster U.S. efforts to get more pledges of support for the war from U.S. allies.

Obama's move quells lingering questions within NATO about America's commitment. And it will allow the U.S. military to expand its work with Afghan forces as they face a resurgent Taliban and a troubling presence of Islamic State fighters in the country.

Obama will leave 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan into 2017, rather than cut the force to 5,500 at the end of the year as initially planned.

Military commanders, lawmakers and allied leaders had pressured the administration to maintain the current 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.