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BRUSSELS – A senior NATO diplomat says the alliance will likely agree next month to extend the Afghanistan training mission and keep troops in all four sections of the country next year. That would leave the door open for the U.S. to maintain current troops levels if the Obama administration decides it's necessary.
The U.S. plans to cut its troop numbers from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2016. But in the face of a resurgent Taliban, former commanders have urged President Barack Obama to keep 9,800 there into next year.
The diplomat says it appears that allies will agree to keep troops in Afghanistan's north and west, and the U.S. will keep forces in the south and east.
The diplomat was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly so spoke anonymously.