Despite pledging to bring home almost all American troops before leaving office, President Barack Obama plans to leave nearly 10,000 troops in war-torn Afghanistan through 2016 in an effort to help fend off the Taliban, reports the The New York Times.
The change comes as the president acknowledges that Afghan security forces are still not prepared to stave off the Taliban on their own, notes the report.
The move also comes after criticism that by drawing down troops in Iraq, the U.S. left the country vulnerable to ISIS, which exploded internationally after seizing large areas of Iraq and Syria.
The president’s latest decision is likely to be met with criticism from his liberal dovish base, which has long called for American troops to return home. But it is likely to be hailed by military leaders and hawks on the right. Republicans, military officers, and civilian officials complained that Obama’s schedule to remove troops from the embattled nation hampered efforts to properly train and advise Afghan security forces.
From The New York Times:
The current American force in Afghanistan of 9,800 troops will remain in place through most of 2016 under the Obama administration’s revised plans, before dropping to about 5,500 at the end of next year or in early 2017, senior administration officials said.
Some of the troops will continue to train and advise Afghan forces, while others will carry on the search for Qaeda fighters and militants from the Islamic State and other groups who have found a haven in Afghanistan, they said….
The insurgents are now spread through more parts of the country than at any point since 2001, according to the United Nations, and last month the Taliban scored their biggest victory of the war, seizing the northern city of Kunduz and holding it for more than two weeks before pulling back on Tuesday.
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SOURCE: The New York Times | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform
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