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US to keep 10,800 troops in Afghanistan through early 2015: Hagel

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Khaama Press
Khaama Presshttps://www.khaama.com
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.

US troops AfghanistanThe US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday that up to 10,800 US troops would remain in Afghanistan for the first few months of next year.

Speaking during a press conference in ARG Presidential Palace, Hagel said the drawdown will restart and the number of US troops would be reduced to 5,500 by the end of next year.

According to Hagel, the original plan to cut the troop levels to 9,800 by the end of this year was abandoned since the planned troop commitments by US allies for the NATO non-combat mission – Resolute Support mission starting in January have been slow to materialize.

He said the decision to keep additional forces in Afghanistan was not due to a recent surge in Taliban attacks and added that the Afghan national security forces will successfully put down a surge in Taliban attacks in the capital and stabilize the nation.

Hagel arrived to Afghanistan following an unannounced visit on Saturday.

This is his final visit to Afghanistan as the US Defense Secretary as he resigned later last month. One of his former deputies, Ashton Carter is expected to succeed him.

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