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US may alter plans for troop pullout from Afghanistan

US may alter plans for troop pullout from Afghanistan

Mar 14, 2015 - 18:29

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United States is expected to slow its troop pullout plans and let many of the 9,800 soldiers stay in Afghanistaninfo-icon well into 2016, a media report said on Saturday.

Plans to cut the number of US forces in Afghanistan to 5,500 by the end of the current year could be abandoned in line US military leaders’ recommendations.

The Associated Press quoted unnamed Obama administration officials as saying that army leaders wanted to keep many of the soldiers into the 2016 summer fighting season.

Around 2,000 American soldiers, who are presently on counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan, will have to continue fighting against the Al-Qaeda and to keep an eye on Islamic State fighters.

President Barack Obama may announce his decision on a new withdrawal timeline during his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Washington this month.

Whether the White House will agree to a symbolic decrease by the end of 2015 or insist on a larger cut remains unclear, according to the report. But National Security Advisor Susan Rice is said to be vehemently opposed to any change.


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