Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel seeks deal to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan


AFP
Sept. 30, 2013

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday he hoped an accord on the future US military presence in Afghanistan would be in place by November, despite President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to be rushed.

“I hope we’ll have that agreement by the end of October, because we just can’t move without it,” Hagel told US soldiers participating in a live-fire exercise in South Korea.

The United States plans to pull out the bulk of its 57,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and has tentative plans to retain a smaller force of around 10,000 forces after that.

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