NEW INFORMATION: Obama says US finishing the job in Afghanistan

By: AP Email
By: AP Email
The president says he will seek to bring the U.S. force in Afghanistan down to 9,800 as the American combat mission ends later this year.

MGN Online

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the United States is finishing the job it started in Afghanistan.

The president says he will seek to bring the U.S. force in Afghanistan down to 9,800 as the American combat mission ends later this year. He then intends to withdraw most those forces by the end of 2016.

Obama said from the Rose Garden on Tuesday, quote: "This is the year we will conclude our combat mission in Afghanistan."

Obama said U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan longer than many Americans expected. He said the forces have struck significant blows against al-Qaida's leadership, eliminated Osama bin Laden and prevented Afghanistan from being used as a base against the U.S.
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senior U.S. administration officials say President Barack Obama will seek to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year.

Nearly all of those forces are to be out by the end of 2016, as Obama finishes his second term.

The two-year plan is contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement with the U.S. While outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign the agreement, U.S. officials are confident that either of the candidates seeking to replace him will give his approval.

Obama will announce the plan in a statement from the White House Tuesday afternoon. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan by name ahead of the president.


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