President Barack Obama said Wednesday 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.
In a statement at the White House, Obama said he was acting after receiving recommendations from top military leaders who urged him to revise his earlier plan. He said boosting the planned troops levels from that planned level would help U.S. allies prepare their own contribution to the fight and would help the next president make good decisions about the future of U.S. involvement in the country where America has been fighting since 2001.
“The decision I’m making today ensures that my successor has a solid foundation for progress in Afghanistan, as well as the flexibility to address the threat of terrorism as it evolves,” Obama said.
He added, “l firmly believe the decision I’m announcing is the right thing to do.” Read more