About 8,400 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan when President Obama’s term in office ends in January, Obama said Wednesday, for more than the 5,500 he had previously promised.
The changing troop levels reflect a continuing readjustment of troop levels by Obama as he’s struggled between competing goals of maintaining stability in the former terrorist safe haven while fulfilling promises to end the war by the end of his presidency.
There were 9,300 troops in Afghanistan as of last month, when Obama sent a report on U.S. troop levels to Congress under the War Powers Resolution. At the height of the 14-year war, there were 100,000.
Obama said the troops remaining in Afghanistan would continue to be focused on training and advising the Afghan military and engaging in counterterrorism efforts. He said he made the decision to keep more troops after receiving an updated assessment from his top commander there, Gen. John Nicholson.