Troop Drawdown Delayed in Afghanistan

President Obama announced Thursday that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan, until at least the end of 2016. 

The announcement once again delays the administration’s plans for a complete troop drawdown. 

The decision to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan comes after an aggressive move from the Taliban to seize the town of Kunduz. 

President Obama said that “as Commander in Chief he will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again.” 

The plan is a drastic change from the the original plan, announced last year, to keep about 1,000 soldiers at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. 

According to the new plan, the amount of U.S. forces in Afghanistan will drop down to 5,500 in early 2017 as President Obama’s presidency comes to an end. 

The troops will maintain bases in Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar. 

The White House maintains that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan has not changed, and is still a non-combat role. 

President Obama said that U.S. forces have two “narrow, but critical missions: training Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of Al Qaeda.” 

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