July 24, 2014

United States may keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan

By Sajad - Mon Nov 26, 9:09 am

The administration of President Barack Obama aims to keep around 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan after formal combat operations in that country end in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday.

Citing unnamed senior US officials, the newspaper said the plan was in line with recommendations presented by General John Allen, commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, who has proposed a force between 6,000 and 15,000 US troops.

Gen. Allen has proposed maintaining a force between 6,000 and 15,000 U.S. troops to conduct training and counterterrorism efforts when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission formally concludes at the end of 2014, officials said. In contrast, the U.S. maintains no residual force in Iraq, a situation that has been blamed for instability in that country.

About 67,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan alongside 37,000 coalition troops and 337,000 local soldiers and police that make up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

This comes as the United States and Afghanistan launched crucial talks on November 15 on the status of US forces remaining in Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal of combat troops in 2014.

The US has stressed that it is not seeking permanent bases in Afghanistan. It is also considered likely to shy away from a security guarantee, which would require it to come to the nation’s assistance against aggressors.

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