Afghanistan

Administration Officials Want to Keep Troops in Afghanistan After End of Combat Operations

Would like to see 10,000 troops remain after NATO mission finishes in 2014

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WASHINGTON—Top Obama administration officials want to keep around 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when formal combat ends in 2014, cementing a limited, long-term American military presence in the country if Kabul agrees, said senior U.S. officials.

A post-2014 troop level of that size would represent the midpoint of preliminary recommendations by Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. 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.

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