NATO chief commends Obama decision on troop levels
Jens Stoltenberg said “This important decision paves the way for a sustained presence by NATO allies and partners in Afghanistan. It demonstrates the continued commitment by NATO Allies and our partners towards Afghanistan.
On Thursday, Obama said he would keep 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan through next year, citing increased Islamic State and Taliban activities in the war-torn country.
Speaking at a White House press conference, the president said he would keep 5,500 troops in Kabul and at a few bases, including those in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar.
“Their mission will not change. Our troops will continue to pursue those two narrow tasks that I outlined earlier: training Afghan forces and going after Al Qaida,” Obama said.
Reacting to Obama’s plans, Stoltenbergsaid NATO would take key decisions about the future scope of the Resolute Support Missionin the coming weeks. “The significant US contribution will be an important factor as we consider the way ahead.”
In a statement, the NATO chief acknowledged the Afghan forces continued to carry out their security responsibilities across the countryin a challenging environment.
“So it's crucial that we continue to support them, practically and financially, to preserve the gains we have achieved in Afghanistan through our joint efforts over many years,” he concluded.
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