Administration could allow up to 9,800 troops to remain into next year’s ‘fighting season’
By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams
The Obama administration is dropping its plans to reduce the amount of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to 5,500 by the end of the year, significantly altering the timeline which officials had said would see troops largely withdraw from the country by 2016, according to reports.
In fact, officials say, the administration could allow up to 9,800 American troops to remain in Afghanistan well into next year’s “fighting season.”
The announcement on Saturday came a few weeks after new Defense Secretary Ashton Carter indicated that the White House was “rethinking” its counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan and would slow down its troop withdrawal from the country, despite long-held promises from Washington to remove the U.S. military presence there.